So I didn’t get the position I was trying for at Logos because, well, I didn’t really qualify. I am trying for another one, because my wife is applying somewhere else in town and if God wants us to stay in Bellingham, I need to start pulling money.
In other news, I am still applying for pastor positions. I find this a really odd process. To get a job, you kinda have to sell yourself; to be faithful to the gospel, you use your gifts with humility not to present your best self, but to glorify Christ. So I find it odd selling myself to a church, hoping that they see me as their best choice for pastor. It seems like the job market and the job have me working at cross purposes with myself. I don’t mean ‘Cross Purposes which sounds like a sermon series on the atonement (if you needed a title for your lent series, you’re welcome), but a war against my mission as pastor and the reality of getting a job.
To this end, I am writing a cover letter with hopes of wowing a church, which I feel I would learn a lot from and hopefully fit well into. I’m telling them of my call as a pastor, but trying not to sound to arrogant about my gifts and abilities. I’ll save my arrogance for a sales position cover letter.
Actually trying to focus on my philosophy of minsitry, which is difficult to communicate in a full-orbed way in a page. Here is some of what I think is important to say:
1. People are spiritually formed when they have a transforming encounter with Jesus Christ. The scriptural pattern seems to be, first to proclaim good news to people, and then help them to make steps to live their lives which correspond to what God has done. Likewise, I see my job as pastor, is to always proclaim the good news and God’s hospitality towards us before spelling out the implications it has for our life.
2. Truth is lived before it is understood. I believe our capacity to hear the gospel is affected by our own practice. As people live out their lives in light of the gospel, their capacity to see and hear from God increases. ‘The way is made by walking’ and I see it as my job to help people get the truth of the gospel in their bones as they seek to live out their faith.
3. The Christian faith is lived in community. I believe wholeheartedly that the Christian faith is impossible when it is privatized. If I am to fulfill my calling, I need sisters and brothers to walk along side of me, proclaiming Christ’s presence, holding me accountable and showing me the grace of God. We all need this, which is part of why gathering with other Christians in worship and in small group settings is so profitable and fruitful for our spiritual growth. It is also why I don’t approach ‘my ministry’ individualistically. There is no ‘my ministry’; there is the ‘ministry of the church.’ And as such, part of the task of pastor is to help develop the gifts present in the congregation for mutual edification and to extend the mission of God in the world.
Thoughts? I haven’t told anyone how great I am at administration and how much of a gifted preacher I am.