Tuesday September 3rd, Philemon:  10-14 While here in jail, I've fathered a child, so to speak. And here he is, hand-carrying this letter—Onesimus! He was useless to you before; now he's useful to both of us. I'm sending him back to you, but it feels like I'm cutting off my right arm in doing so. I wanted in the worst way to keep him here as your stand-in to help out while I'm in jail for the Message. But I didn't want to do anything behind your back, make you do a good deed that you hadn't willingly agreed to. First things first, Paul did not really father a child, in modern terms, he mentored a leader.  Years ago while I was on Sabbatical, our congregation was taking care of all the duties, leading worship, sharing the message, leading the singing, serving the meal and even a baptism.  In listening to the services on line, I sometimes felt like I had fathered a child.  It was wonderful and exciting to listen to all this happen. Then I returned and old patterns both within the congregation and within me returned, the congregation went from taking care of, to being taken care of.  I have been in this congregation for 23 years and am beginning to question the wisdom of long term ministries.  It is easy for me, but I see the congregation falling into old patterns as a chaplaincy congregation rather than a mission field.  How have long or short periods of call affected ministry in your life?  How have they affected the lives of congregations?  


Post a Comment

<< Home

  • Facebook me