Category Archives: Ministry

Why Be in Ministry?

In his book, Bishop, Will Willimon says, “The only good reason for anybody to be in ministry is theological.” Why be in ministry? We’re in ministry because of who God is and what God has done in Christ. We’re in … Continue reading

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A Different Future

Will Willimon’s Bishop functions as a study of the episcopacy and as a spiritual autobiography. Reading it, we gain insight into the church, its leadership, and its leaders. Willimon is explicit and plain-spoken about his convictions. At one point he … Continue reading

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Who’s Fit to Preach?

My memory of the fine details of my own life events isn’t too sharp. Since my own passage through the hurdles set before me by the Board of Ordained Ministry was thirty years ago, I don’t remember everything. I do … Continue reading

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Ministry as Job

Adults, unless independently wealthy, need a job in order to support themselves and their families. Even wealthy people likely need a job for the sake of their well-being. Jobs are tied up with issues of money, competition and progress. When … Continue reading

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Subordination

In his book Bishop, Will Willimon says, “Leaders in the church are subordinate to the mission of the church.” I served in a pastoral role for 25 years. During all that time, I, as pastor, was subordinate to the mission … Continue reading

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Clergy & Laity

In Bishop, Will Willimon says, Because I’m a Wesleyan I believe that all church leadership, bishops or otherwise, is best rationalized on utility rather than by puffed-up theological warrant. Like Luther, I prefer a pragmatic rather than an ontological definition … Continue reading

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Just Whose Idea Was It?

Will Willimon notes: Ministry, in any of its forms, is always God’s idea before it is ours. While we may eventually enjoy our clerical vocation, we do it first of all not because it causes us bliss but rather because … Continue reading

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A Baptism of Repentance

John the Baptist is described in the Gospels as preaching a “baptism of repentance.” In the descriptions of his ministry in the Gospels we see people coming to him, confessing their sins. Matthew tells us that when Jesus comes to … Continue reading

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Strange

I feel strange. Tomorrow morning is the first Sunday since early July 1991 that I will wake up without feeling primary responsibility for a congregation. This week I’ve taken up a new job, a non-pastoral job. I’m now part of … Continue reading

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Temporary Beauty

In the mid-1950s First Methodist and First Baptist Churches in my town both had 50 year old buildings that were showing their age. Ministry styles had changed over that time and the buildings that suited the congregations at the turn … Continue reading

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