some days are essays, others incomplete sentences
today is one of the latter. thus, instead of a complete unit of coherent thought, i am going to share a couple of fragmentary thoughts and reflections.
i don't know whether it's the 32 ounces of equal exchange coffee pulsing through my veins or the faint scent of innovation, but for some reason i am interested in my job once again. when our company was recently sold from one brother to another i thought that business would proceed as usual. as is often the case, my assumptions were far from correct. someone up top is shaking the tree and coconuts are falling all over the place. we are in the process of reconsidering how to do everything from site design to spam, er..., i mean newsletters in a more effective way. for so, for the first time in this department their seems to be room for innovation. consequently, for the first time in months i am not tempted to drool on my keyboard. good times...
for the moment, my homiletical paralysis has abated. over the past four months i have had the damnedest time developing sermons. early on, i considered my condition a result of my spiritual apathy and context of transition (i.e., married eight months ago, new homeowner, fairly new job, sex change (just kidding), etc.). however, i have realized that my condition has abated when i write first person narrative sermons. thus, in my current three sermon series on the prodigal son, my narrative sermon from the perspective of the elder brother went swimmingly, my deductive sermon on the prodigal absolutely sucked and my narrative sermon on the role/call to be the father is developing quite nicely. i don't want to discount the influence that the small, yet distinct spiritual renewal that is taking place in my life and community is having upon me, but i think that the primary cause of the paralysis is a stylistic shift that is taking place in my preaching. i'll probably discuss this in more detail at a later date.
i've realized, once again, that one of the great temptations of church leaders is to exert power over the lives of the members. i thought that by checking out of the institutional structure i would have lessened this temptation, but i couldn't have been more wrong. in relational ministry there are constant opportunities to guide people towards personal decisions or commitments that would apparently serve the best interests, or lessen a burden upon the church, but would not be the best choice for the individual. i must constantly recommit myself to searching out what is best for that person and for the community rather than what appears to work best with my vision for our community. i am rambling and probably making little sense...but there is a big issue buried in there.
shit. this post is less a record of fragmentary thoughts than it is a collection of uncompleted essays. nonetheless i am going to let it go.
blessings upon you and yours.