Friday, January 09, 2009

Random reflections after a conference

Well, it's been ages since I went to a conference as consistently thought-provoking and bang on the buck as the one I've just been on. The expositions from Titus helped me refocus on a pretty unsexy subject: godliness, and how much it actually needs to be front and centre of my thinking. It's certainly a, if not the, purpose God saved us for, and just as importantly, it's how we do mission - the world is watching, and how we live is so key if we are to make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive. The more practical talks all addressed relevant issues in ministry as well, be it the need to nurture a grace-based spirituality, or wrestling with sexual temptation, or thinking through work-life balance (or better, "sustainable sacrifice").

But most scarily, actually, it was the fact that someone I have loads of respect for, having heard me give my practice sermon, later took me aside and affirmed that I definitely have embryonic gifts in that area. But that with those gifts come big responsibilities, by far the biggest one being that I had better make sure I know how to read and interpret the Bible for myself correctly because I could potentially lead people astray. And I think for me, that moment was when for the first time, I really felt the weight of this whole "full-time ministry" malarky. Right now, I'm in the exploration stage, and in one sense, it's still fun and games. But I guess, in the past week, both in some of the chats I had with a few people in Kuala Lumpur (where I was last weekend) and in hearing some of the things the last several days, I've just been feeling quite overwhelmed as I begin to think what it would really mean should I go further down this avenue. There's still so much I need to learn; in fact I'm still so far back that I need to learn what is it I need to learn. And we ain't just talking head knowledge here either.

But it certainly looks like 2009 is going to be a year where I need to put in the hard work of praying and working things out all while being dependent on God...

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Blogger pearlie said...

Good going and yes, preaching and teaching are biggies - I always remember James 3:1 Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

And preaching comes with life experience and maturity as well. We had a 70+ retired pastor speak to us yesterday, his words do carry more weight.

12:21 am  

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