In the cut and thrust of busy ministry in a big church the weeks fly by like nothing else on earth. A steady stream of sermon prep, service prep, admin, conversations and meetings of all sorts – pastoral to administrative and everything in between. And then there are the bits and pieces I try to do to keep me human, sane and in touch with people not in church.
In all of that, it can be easy to lose sight of your key ‘ministry’ passions. I’ve been thinking about them and how they currently find expression. I thought I’d share them!
1. Jesus-centred life, discipleship and church. I believe that we have all a whole way to go in looking like Jesus and that is the top aim. Massive repercussions all round.
2. The last, the lost, the least. It’s always surprising to me that God puts a lad with a heart for the underdog in lovely Gosforth. I’ve always experienced God more on the margins than at the centre.
I’ve been humbled by the ways this passion plays out these days and the opportunities there are to bless.
3. New monasticism. I live my life of discipleship by a monastic rule and a rhythm of prayer coupled with a commitment to silence and contemplative prayer. This is life-giving for me, it’s how I connect, but my spirituality has always been charismatic and grounded in enjoying Gods word. It all leads to a wholistic and sustainable spirituality.
3. Evangelism. Put simply, I want nothing more than to help people encounter Jesus.
4. Scotland. It’s my home, the place I ultimately belong and although I’m a citizen of God’s Kingdom, I have a passion for Scotland in the way some are called to Africa or Latin America or Asia. Every nation, tribe and tongue will gather around the throne of God, so Revelation tells us. I want my people to be there!
5. Multi-voiced, Multi-participatory church. I was blessed to be discipled in an environment where the whole body was free and able to contribute to worship, and where no tasks were out of bounds for the whole church. This meant I started preaching at 16 both on church and outdoors. The church isn’t a one man band, it’s a body with many parts called to take its place and fulfil it’s ministry.
6. Over all that, my first ministry needs to be my family and I know I fail in that as much as I fail at the rest of it. To not put my children off following Jesus is my primary hope!
Those are a big part of my spiritual DNA, what fires me up still and makes me tick. Thankful to God for it all and that he knows the best outlet for me at any given time’! Obedience is a day by day journey that never ceases to challenge and shape me.