Sunday, April 02, 2006

Silence

I have recently been spending my time in my writing doing just pure journaling. I have written a journal for years. In fact I started blogging to take my journaling a new direction. I had a couple of issues I have been thinking and praying about and I just needed to think them through without an audience. I did not really want to take all of my readers through my processing of issues. But now that I feel I have some answers I am willing to share those issues.

DO I BECOME A FAITH MISSIONARY?
I really have a desire to preach the name of Christ among those who have not heard it. In my opinion, reaching the Muslims, Buddhists, Chinese, Animists, and Hindus is strategic for Christianity. However, for most people who do this in a significant way that means being a faith missionary. I heartily support other missionaries with my finances and I think they are doing good things. As I have prayed about this I do not think this is where God is leading me.

DO I BECOME A CHURCH PLANTER?
Again I have a desire to preach and not work on another man's foundation. Even so, I'm not sure I have the leadership skills commensurate with the task. Planting a church takes more energy than I have had in recent years. My heart has grown faint as I have gone through trials. Though my heart has grown faint, I have refused to give up. Courage is continuing to act despite fear. I am continuing to move forward, I just don't know exactly what forward looks like. I continue to prepare for ministry and hope that God will bless my efforts to serve him. I just don't see it as likely that I could plant a church. Not every leader is cut out the same way and since I work slowly and faithfully, I don't think I have the speed that it takes to be a church planter.

DO I GET ON STAFF AT A LARGE CHURCH?
I think I would welcome this but I don't think I will pursue this. Getting on staff at a large church would be good from a the aspect of developing my gifts under the tutiledge of a more mature pastor. However, it might off put preaching as a primary ministry indefinitely. Once I got on staff somewhere my personal loyalty would probably keep me there almost indefinitely. Since I'm in my forties and it will be a few years before I can finish seminary and move on with full time ministry, I need to be selective in where I go and what I do. I really could not use a position as a stepping stone very well, I don't think. It is really not in my personality to give up on a church.

WHAT DOES THE PROCESS OF ELIMINATION GIVE ME?
Since my desire is to preach and lead, I don't have a lot of options. I think the process of elimination leaves me with a small church. Ideally I would like one that has potential for growth and lead that church to its next stage of development. I'm praying that God will give me a church in which to preach and lead.
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