Sunday, December 19, 2010

Helpful words from a wiser brother

A brother took the time to encourage me to reflect on my ‘Should I be on Oxygen in 2011’ post. Specifically he suggested it could sound like I was critical of those who found pastoral ministry hard and who are in situations where, by all objective standards it is hard.

He’s right, it could sound like that. And I absolutely would not want to be in any way critical of those who are labouring faithfully for the Lord in difficult circumstances, who visited the Oxygen website and went, ‘that is exactly what I need at the moment – praise God’, especially if they’ve been faithfully putting in the hard yards, quietly for a long time. If anybody can preach in a way that refreshes and renews John Piper can.

If Oxygen is scratching right where they’re itching then praise the Lord, and I hope that I can attain their measure of faithfulness in adversity. I pray that God enables all of us to retain or to recapture the joy of gospel ministry - and then just get on with doing it.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Should I be on Oxygen in 2011?

The KCC guys are bringing pastoral megastar John Piper out next year for a new conference called Oxygen, pitched at pastors.

I've read a little Piper and heard a talk or two and he seems like a gifted pastor and a good preacher.

So I'm trying to decide if I should go to the conference or not.

I checked out the website and it made me feel depressed!

It seems to assume that pastors find ministry a joyless drudge and need some oxygen to get them up and going again. The conference says it is a chance for me to 'rediscover the joy of gospel ministry'.

I still have the joy of gospel ministry!

Gospel ministry isn't all Tim Tams and ice cream; it has its ups and downs and its challenges and stresses. But it is still a joy and privilege and it still feels like a joy and privilege.

The list of electives makes me feel like patient lying in a hospital bed in need of attention:

1. resuscitate: helping you cope with the stresses of ministry
2. refresh: showing you ways to be revitalised
3. rediscover: helping you renew your passion for gospel ministry.

If you were launching a new conference designed to help pastors, what would you make your initial theme or focus?

What message do you think a bunch of pastor most need to hear?

Are you going to the conference?

Does it's focus resonate with you?