In preparation for my first appointment as an officer of The Salvation Army, I’m reading and rereading some books that might help me in my ministry. One of the books recommended to me was Paul Borden’s book, Make or break your church in 365 days. Continue reading Book review: Make or break your church in 365 days – Paul Borden
Today, we had an “Observation Sunday” which is where we go to a different church, to observe worship there. This is a great idea, as we get ideas on how other people structure their services, buildings, morning tea, etc. But as with all things, you can often learn what not to do. Today’s experience had us asking all sorts of questions, because it could have been so good. But, if we were looking for a church to attend, we wouldn’t go back to the one we went to today. In fact, had we not been going to observe, we probably would not have gone in at all. Continue reading Welcome at church?
I was offered a job yesterday. It was, a couple of years ago, my dream job. It was teaching violin, 4 days a week, at schools in Albany. A couple of years ago – even possibly as late as last year – I might have jumped at the opportunity. This time, however, I turned it down.
Why? Well, I’m heading to college (hopefully – should find out on Wednesday) next year, and if we’re accepted to that, then I’m moving house. Working 4 days a week in Albany (which for those playing overseas is about a 4.5 hour drive, or around $200 each way for flights) would put a serious strain on my relationship with my wife, especially in the lead up to college, where we would be thrown into a boiler room of pressure, living in the college, studying every day with everyone else around us.
So I turned the job down. I know it’s the right thing to do, but it’s also incredibly hard for me to pass something up that I had wanted for so long. A full-time teaching job – doing for a living what I was trained to do, instead of my current situation – working three hours on a Friday morning teaching, and doing non-musical work the rest of the week. But it’s ok, as I know that God has called me to ministry in the Salvation Army, and in a couple of years, I will not only be doing what I was trained to do, but also what I was called to do.
I think that makes it all better.
Have you ever had to give something up that you really wanted, because the situation wasn’t quite right?
From 1996 until 2009, I was an Anglican. A member of St Anselm’s, I had grown up there. I had gone from being in the Kid’s Club, to the youth group, to leading the youth group. I had gone from child to adult, and into a form of leadership in the congregation. In the last couple of years, I was really starting to come to grips with the deep meaning in the service, the meaning behind the words, why certain actions were done. Then, I made the most difficult decision of my life.
The perfect Sunday comes in finding balance. Balance between sharing time with God, and finding time to have a sabbath. So often, our Sunday will be absolutely packed – for example last Sunday, when we went from Church in the morning, to a nephew’s birthday on the other side of the metro area, to a friends 22nd on another side of the city once again. It was literally non-stop. And while we had great times while we were there, when we fill our weekends with days like these, we get to Monday and think, where did our weekend go?
Sometimes, I think that the perfect Sunday is actually a Saturday. A day when we get the time to really sit and relax. Wake up slowly. Enjoy that first coffee. Maybe see some friends or family in a relaxed environment. Have no rush about anything – it can always get done tomorrow.
What’s your perfect Sunday?