Pastor’s ponderings

After last week’s pondering regarding my interviews for provisional membership, I am certain many having been waiting and wondering – what happened?  Did I pass?  Well, let me explain it this way.

            Over the course of the course of those four hours, I participated in four separate interviews in four different areas of ministry.  For three of those topics, I did very well and was commended on my work.  Yet, for one, it was identified that I needed to be a bit clearer in my responses and cover the material more in-depth.  Subsequently, I was asked to return next year and provide additional responses (in that one area only) before being considered again.  So, while I did well in three areas, I now have some homework to do to further prepare in one area.

            For some, not “passing” this one area might be considered a failure.  For me, not so much.  I pretty much knew it was going to happen before I ever got there.  As much as I studied, I still didn’t feel confident in my knowledge or responses, and I certainly felt even more overwhelmed after the interview was over.  What exactly were they asking me?  How exactly did I respond?

            Yet, what happens next in this process is a real blessing.  In the next few days, I will be sent a report of the findings of the various committees with some recommended resources to study to prepare for next year.  In other words, I will be given some guidance for improvement.

            We should all want to improve, shouldn’t we?  We should never settle for the status quo.  We should never be content in what we have done or where we are. God has called us to grow in our faith, to go further along in our discipleship journey.  After all, Christians are lifelong learners, aren’t we?  Our knowledge of God and what is possible is ever evolving in our lifetimes.  As such, we must rely on others to help us along the way.

            I have always said that the foundation of my ministry is found in Ephesians 4:12 – “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (NRSV).  While this is how I have strived to work with others in the church, in this case it is others that are helping to equip me, to build me up to be a stronger member of the body of Christ.  So, did I ever really fail?  No, because there was someone there to help me along the way, to help me grow, to equip me for the work of ministry.

            Who could you help to equip today?  What resources could you provide to help them in their faith journey?  How might you “equip the saints” and “build up the body of Christ”?

                                                            Always pondering,

                                                                        Pastor Steve

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