I read an excellent post yesterday ( http://goodinparts.blogspot.com/Â for 24/1/09) ; an ordinary vicar/curate reflecting on life and ministry. It has reset me thinking. Note: I left a comment- I think it is good netettiquette to do so from time to time…hint…….hint…
What is it that makes a ‘good’ minister? Well I guess we all downgrade what is important (and this is not mine, it belongs to Eugene Peterson- he should know, he’s friends with Bono, has produced a translation of parts of the Bible and a series of top books on vicar-ing) like being able to pray longingly and lovingly and spend time with the Bible….. many active and ‘good’ ministers downgrade this for more visible stuff- ‘activity’. It is rather like a club buying a new striker and the crowd praising him for his car and the immaculateness of his kit and his warm up routine…….. actually- looking at Middlesbrough’s recent form this may not be too far from the truth (although a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge last night represents something of a pyrrhic victory. Just a shame that the Premier League don’t give points on the basis of Greek tragedy….).
But if you were forced to rate a ‘good’ minister, you might subconsciously rate all the church stuff he/she does. A night or so ago, recapping all the stuff I did/ feelings I had on sabbatical, I realised that if I do not have an active hinterland I become less and less effective/less ‘missional’.
Last night I went for an audition for the village Hall Am Dram Society’s forthcoming production (I have my eyes set onÂ the role of a drunken, incompetant east European hotel porter which is surely typecasting, just as last year my role as a seedy cook given to embezzlement and adultery was also so ‘me’). This is no ordinary village hall am dram society- Wendy Craig is our patron & we have a ‘name’. Plus Am Drams are one of the ‘big things’ in this area.
I don’t know if I’ll get in- demand is high. But here is the rub: if I do, I will have to move meetings and get out of others. All the time part of me is thinking ‘That is not what good ministers do’: last year I got a lot of flak for moving one meeting (to which I say: sometimes people just need to ‘get a life’). Yet if I don’t and don’t get down the village pub at the rate I do (I’d like to do more)…. all of this talk of ‘missional engagement is complete crap, to put it politely.
Of the people auditioned so far, 2 are granddaughters of someone I did a funeral for 2 weeks ago, one used to live in this house, one goes out with someone I was at Poly with, one I have acted with before, one is a church member, then there is the church organist and her husband and there is also an ex member of the church’s youth fellowship. This village is that kind of place…
We will see- I find out tonight. If I don’t get in, I plan to tell the director that I have a number of appointments in the West End…… well I live at the west end of the village and I will be forcibly reminded by my wife (who believes that I am out too much anyway) that I have appointments with the decorating, the house, the children and …her.
Last news; my youngest son is 5 today….