Thursday, November 18, 2010

Work vs. Ministry: Fulfilling the Call

So I was driving from my apartment to the church today, letting Josh Groban's new CD serenade me, and I began to think about what my next blog post should be. 
Should I discuss Health Care or the new naked scanners like everyone else is?
Should I talk about my fears/joys of becoming a father at a young age?
Should I blog about the fact that I get to see a pre-screening of the newest Narnia movie tonight? (FACT!)
Or maybe I should be as brave as my friend Stephen Schick and tackle evil in the world...

I hope that my blog continues to be an out-pouring of my continuously growing relationship with Christ. Because of a conversation we had (call it prayer, if you will), I've decided to write about my "occupation".

If I handed you my business card to sent you an email, you would see my technical title: "Student Pastor".

The wrestling match between my heart and my mind began. 
What is my job? Being a Student Pastor? If so, what is my ministry? Can they be the same thing?

According to everyone's favorite resource,, a job is defined as:
a piece of work, esp. a specific task done as part of theroutine of one's occupation or for an agreed price: She gavehim the job of mowing the lawn.
a post of employment; full-time or part-time position: Shewas seeking a job as an editor.
anything a person is expected or obliged to do; duty;responsibility: It is your job to be on time.

Personal opinion: Incredible definitions. Great work, writers (if you really exist).
According to definition 2, my job is to be a Student Pastor at the Oaks Baptist Church. Your job is to _________ (fill in that blank with whatever pays your checks). 

What really stuck out was that third definition: "anything a person is expected or obliged to do; duty; responsibility". 

Expected to do? Obliged? Responsibility

Then the light changed (still in the car, remember? Keep up.). 

What am I expected to do? What is my responsibility?

This month at the Oaks is Missions Emphasis. And as I drove back to the church, it was like God said to me, "Make disciples. That's your responsibility."
See, I'm a Follower of Christ. As Acts 9:1 puts it, a "Follower of the Way". I'm traveling down a path with Jesus as my guide, and my sole responsibility is to make disciples as I go. 

How does that transfer?
I'm a Follower first. A Husband and Father second. And a Student Pastor third.

I am thus expected to:
1. Make a disciple of myself. I am in no condition to create disciples if the reflection in the morning does not Follow the Risen God. I must, without hesitation, follow Christ with all that I am.
2. Make disciples of my wife and children. My example and love for God should inspire my wife to love God more. The words I speak should be so gracious (Col. 4:6) that my children see the difference in my life and want to follow me as I follow Christ. I must love my wife and children as Christ loved the church, and give myself (time, energy, motives, desires, and wants) for them.
3. Make disciples of the students God gives me and show them how to become Followers of the Way.
4. Continue to make disciples every where, as I go.

This principle should apply to your life. Any position you may hold, you are a Follower first, then a leader. Your job and my job is the same: as you go, make disciples. 

Waiting for the "call" in your life to find out what you should be doing? 

You just read it. 

Make disciples. 

Let the conversation begin.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Awkward Beginnings

After much consideration and hours of prayer, I've decided to do it.

Let the blogging commence.

I promised myself that I would never write a blog consistently. "It boring", I told myself. "No one actually reads blogs." "Who would honestly read your blog?"

So, after consulting with my great team of experts (Cassie and Facebook), I have decided to do it. The hardest part so far? The title.

I truly believe that millions more books than we have now would have been written if people could have just come up with a cool, creative title. Many times I would dream of being the next great author, but the great title alluded me.

As I did my best to come up with a title that would catch the eye of the world, I quickly realized I was aiming too high. I had no reason to have the greatest title; my title should reflect the purpose of my content.

My goal in writing a blog is not to experience the onset of premature carpal tunnel syndrome or to have another reason to stare at the light that mysteriously draws me in from my glowing screen. My true goal is to encourage honest conversations between people. I look at my generation, a group called the "Mosaics", and I feel like I am one of the millions who want nothing more but an opportunity to express my opinion, hear a rebuttal, and adapt my opinion accordingly. I cannot be the only one who is tired of being told by previous generations how great things were and how we should do things exactly the same.

Don't get me wrong. Our parents and grand-parents did some great things. Civil rights was incredible. Fighting for the world's freedoms was brave.
But wearing leisure suits? Gold chains and bracelets on men? Allowing the Wonder Years to get cancelled?
You could never convince me that yesterday was better than our future.

Which brings me back again to my goal: conversation. I read a few blogs and noticed one common thing- a lot of them sound like a guy behind a keyboard ranting about his terrible life or women sharing recipes. Very few promote real conversation between people. My hope is that, by reading this, my blog turns from a monologue to a dialogue and eventually a pluralogue. To come clean, I will say that I don't think "pluralogue" exists. When I googled it I found it used it a book that sounded like no one had ever read it: "Viennese Heritage: Karl Buehler's Theory of Language". Since the word has never been used in common speech, I'll take it upon myself to define it.
    Pluralogue (noun)-
 1. A conversation between the members of a large group of people
 2. A conversation between separate large groups of people
 3. A sandwich consisting of every kind of lunchmeat except those ending with "wurst"

When my children are old enough to read this blog, I hope I can look back and know I fulfilled my goal.

Let the conversations begin!