Thursday, July 06, 2017

More Small Sips But Also Less Small Sips

Perfectly stated. Joshua Steimle explains why exercise is a higher priority than his career:
If exercise stops, then my health goes downhill. With the loss of physical health my productivity at work goes down. I become depressed. I lose motivation to do the things that makes my business successful. I’ve learned firsthand that excellence in one area of my life promotes excellence in all other areas of my life. Exercise is the easiest area of my life to control. It’s easy to measure. Either I get it in, or I don’t. When I do, it lifts up all other areas of my life, including my business.
For a long time, I was fooled into thinking that if my business wasn’t the top priority, then that meant I wasn’t doing all I could do to make it successful. This is an understandable way of thinking, but it’s completely wrong.
I've long tried to be faithful to some kind of exercise regimen, and my workouts have almost always been scheduled into my workday in some fashion, although over the years there have been many times when I've rationalized skipping exercise due to my workload or other commitments, which have yielded the sorts of results described in this article.

More recently, I've decided to be more uncompromising. If I have a bunch of meetings or visits later in the day I go first thing in the morning. If I have earlier commitments, I go around lunchtime. And when I schedule work-related activities, I'm cognizant of how that might affect exercise. The point is that the workout gets done no matter what else is happening, because attention to my health helps me get that other stuff done.

Staying put, for better or worse. Christopher Xenakis explores the trend of UCC clergy not moving as often to accept new ministry positions:
Ministers are not moving—in large part, because their partners and spouses work outside the home today (they didn’t, at least not as much, a couple of generations back), and because pastors’ family members now have networks of friendship and community that they don’t want to give up. In addition, ministers are buying their own homes—most do not want to live in a parsonage, and they do not want to have to sell, move, and buy a new house every four years. Indeed, clergy are reacting negatively to the tumbleweed existence of their predecessors in ministry; they want to grow roots in a particular geographic location. Then too, “homesteading”—residential permanence—works for many ministers.
Clergy homesteading is supported by the search-and-call practices of many local UCC congregations. Small churches that cannot afford a full-time minister will likely avoid conducting a national search, and call a licensed or lay minister from within their Conference or Association. But increasingly, even larger and wealthier program- and corporate-sized congregations may call a local minister who is “a known commodity”—whose ministry and preaching style the church’s search committee members have observed firsthand, and with whom they are comfortable—to be their new senior or associate pastor.
I currently place myself in this group of pastors less likely to move when I accept a new call, for some of the reasons listed: my wife works and is earning a Ph.D, we're invested in the house in which we're living, and I as a PK would like to avoid my kids having the multi-move experience that I did. And I know many colleagues who intend to grow roots where they are, too.

There are drawbacks to this. When you leave a call but stay in the area you have to be clear that you'll no longer perform ministerial functions for the place you've left, there is something of experiencing different cultures and settings that gets lost, and you limit your options for possible new calls. Weighing the pros and cons is important and still needed in order to faithfully discern what you're meant to do and where you're meant to do it.

Yeah, why? Katy asks why the hell God is still calling pastors:
If we can figure out why God is calling pastors, we can figure out what God is calling pastors to…(hint: Its probably a form of ministry that is not church-centric)
If we can figure out what God is calling pastors too then we can figure out how Christianity is being re-formed. God is calling people towards the kingdom, towards the future, towards tomorrow. If we can figure out what people are called to, we will have a sense of where God is leading us.
An increasing amount of people who feel called into church ministry are felling called to do it in unconventional ways. It may not look  like a Sunday morning worship event with organs or a band and a sermon. It may be a mission church, dinner church, or contemplative church. It may be a church that meets in a storefront, a coffeehouse, a pub, or a community center. If we pay attention to trends regarding what pastors feel called to do, we can see where church and ministry are going.

Nailed it. Someone has finally come up with the definitive list of how to make the perfect worship service:

Misc. Karl Vaters with a reminder that if you're going to do a certain thing in your church, do it well or don't bother. Carey Nieuwhof on how weekend worship is changing. Christopher Xenakis again on the United Church of Christ turning 60.