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..for what it’s worth…

In April, I’ll be attending the SHIFT Conference at Willow Creek. I will be representing the Gateway Conference of the Free Methodist Church, for the National Student Ministries’ Team.

Starting to get a little excited. I’ve attended many conferences and seminars over the past 5 years since graduating, but so far I’ve either been volunteering, in charge, or it’s been combined with taking a group of teens somewhere as well (IYC 2007). So it will be nice to just attend, take notes, soak up some good teaching, and figure out what I’m doing a little bit more. Sometimes I feel like I have no clue. But I cling to personal growth and development, caring for my family, and hoping that my church won’t fire me while I try to navigate being a Youth Pastor as well. My shortfalls? I’ll confess them: organization, communication, fund-raising, planning ahead, etc. I get afraid that I’m already asking too much of my volunteers, that I don’t arrange “planning” meetings very often….and that probably gets read as nothing’s happening, which makes them wonder why they give so much of their time…etc. But I probably overanalyze it all.

Thankfully, the crew the previous Youth Pastor gathered around him, has put up with me….and hopefully they’ll stick around if it takes me a while. They pretty much rock, and are a LARGE reason things here are happening.

SO anywhoo. I took a Hermeneutics Quiz as part of preparing for the conference. I scored a 68, which puts me just over their “Progressive” mark (66-100). Being so close to the mark, it also means I lean a bit toward their “Moderate” category of Biblical Hermeneutics as well. I could see that. Although it’s strange that my score is higher than the likes of Dan Kimball…one of the “Emergent” guys. I wouldn’t have guessed that. I suppose it’s a reminder that in discussions like this, categories and labels only go a certain distance. Our relationships with God and each other, community, discussion, and journey of faith together plays a lot larger of a role. But it’s a good conversation starter.

So yeah…really looking forward to the conference, but at the same time, weary. I’ve given up books for Lent, and although hard for me, it has reminded me of an important thing: New trends/books in ministry/theology come about 10 a day. Giving up books for Lent has allowed me to be content with not having read the newest book by the newest author, or even the oldest book by the newest rediscovered author, so that I can “keep up” with certain thought circles.

One of my mentors once told me, as I headed into ministry, to beware of being caught up in “ministry fads”. Having that advice with me over the past 5 years has been very valuable. Not that I’m close-minded to new views/thoughts/movements. But I’m very cautious of what I invest myself in. Thanks Papa Boone.

SO yeah…learning, growing, soaking up….and hoping to be better at everything in 20 years, but still with a sense of humility that allows for continuing growth. That’s me.



Husband, Father, Pastor, Missionary, Writer, Poet, Friend, reader, coffee enthusiast, hockey Wing-Nut, musical participator, etc...

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