I like to think sometimes that I have a wide fan-base who wait with bated breath for every new post...but who am I kidding? Right now I'm posting because at heart, I am forever a procrastinator -- not because you are particularly interested in what I have to say right now.
I've been back from vacation for a few days now, and am starting to wonder how the heck I'm going to manage seminary and church and commuting this next year. I ordered books yesterday, and it was like my eyes were opened: "Shoot! I really am going back for another year! Dear Lord..." I still haven't managed to finish my incomplete class this summer, and am half-tempted just to retake it. Bleah. My advice to all of you: never, ever take an incomplete if you can help it.
After seven weeks of ministry, I've realized just how much you have to do in a church. There's work, and then there's....work. On the one hand, there's the Sunday morning ritual and preparing for that, the meetings to go to and the pushing paper around. On the other hand, there's getting folks motivated to study the Bible, to follow Jesus more passionately, to take their discipleship to the next level. I'm struggling to keep the balance tipped more in the latter direction than the former. It sounded so much easier to do in theory than in practice.
Part of it may just be a function of my own level of intense discipleship. I'll admit, some days it's all I can do to get through saying the morning offices instead of praying for the city, my congregation, and my world. And some weeks, my personal Bible study is limited to what I do for sermon prep (which, as they teach us in seminary, is perfectly alright, but I beg to differ). And I have yet to dig myself deeply into the fabric of this community, though both Ben and I have had some great conversations with a few of the local small business owners.
It's a process, of course, but I'm impatient. So is Ben, which makes putting things into perspective difficult. So I'm left with trying to channel this impatience into prayer and into something constructive as we get to know our congregation and this city that God has called us to. I fear that seminary is going to be one more thing to get in the way (time-wise and otherwise) of what God is trying to do through us.
So we'll be juggling a church plant, seminary, church, and sabbath this year. Pray for us!