Saturday, June 20, 2009

Clarity for the future...

"What do you see yourself doing in five years?" Uggh. I've never been sure how to respond to questions about the future. Especially since God shattered my previous plan for my life with my call to ordained ministry.

Recently though, I've been getting a better sense of what I want to do in the future.

Generally, I want to be an "agent of change" in the culture of the church:

I want to lessen the bureaucracy...

I want to shake complacency...

I want to see healthy systems in our structures, that lead to:

1. the church as a means to God's ends (and not vice versa!)

2. making genuine disciples of Jesus (not merely members of an organization)

3. the transformation of the world (as opposed to the perpetuation of an institution)

It is refreshing to be able to articulate these ideas. Also its been great to begin connecting with others who are feeling similar desires for the future. The next step is begin dreaming with others and discerning what God is doing with this.

Now, I am no longer uncertain how to respond when someone asks what I see myself doing in five years. Next time someone asks, I'll say: "Changing the world."

Want to join me?

June Update...

I haven't written in awhile just because I've been devoting my time and energy to other things:

1. Moving. By far the biggest change coming in our lives is that we will move to Stafford, Virginia by the end of the month. As of July 1, I will be the associate at Ebenezer UMC. I am excited to work with Mark Miller, the great staff, dedicated lay leadership of EUMC.

2. Finding a Home. For the last three years we have enjoyed living in a parsonage in scenic Marshall/Rectortown, Virginia. Now with the move we've searched high and low for a new home. Without giving you all the boring details, we are building in Stafford and our home should be ready by November.

3. Planning Worship for Annual Conference. I had the honor of serving with a group of clergy to help plan the majority of worship experiences for Annual Conference. It was a lot of work, but it was a great experience. I enjoyed the collaboration and teamwork of planning and then implementing these services (6 in all).

4. Young Clergy Booth. Lastly, over the last five months I have been connecting with other young clergy from across the nation to begin conversation on how (and where) we see God moving in the UMC and how we can play a role of joining God's movement. (Check out 40 Days of Prayer for the UMC.) Along with other folks at other Annual Conferences, I put together a young clergy table at our AC. What a great opportunity to talk with others and meet new folks. (I will have more to share later about this.) Unfortunately I was unable to make it to the young clergy dinner at AC, but understand it went really well.

So, all that said, we have had lots going on over the past couple of months and I have made little time for writing. I am hoping once we get settled in Stafford, to begin posting more regularly.