Monday, February 8, 2016

Transition Time

It has been nearly a year since I posted, and in the world of blogging, that is not a good thing. But a couple of major changes have taken place in that time. Neither of the issues were meant to prevent the blogging, but both did. But now, I have had further time to reflect and thus, I intend to start again, only in a new way. The two items, and the new process are below.

1) I finished my dissertation. This was huge, and has certainly been a relief. Yet, the end of that process is simply the beginning of a new aspect in ministry. This is not to say that I am leaving my church, or position as pastor; rather, it is an addition to what I am already doing, and now feel led to do for other churches. Essentially, my dissertation centered on comparing several of Paul's letters to a theory on human development, to see if certain issues faced by churches in the first century (and now!) have any relation to the challenges that a human faces in development. As I flesh out my next steps a little further, I intend to start a blog to focus on how the biblical writing can help us to better understand the life-cycle challenges of a church. When ready to launch that blog, I will post about it here first.

2) I learned that the church owns my sermons, not me. This is a great point of debate among many people, and options exist. However, right now is not the time for me to invest in this debate. Certainly, many pastors have agreements with the churches they serve that allow for personal use, and perhaps that will be worth further consideration in the future. Please note: this is not a point of contention for me or the church I serve, but it has created some complexity in returning to the blogging scene. But for now, I will simply post sermon information on a church-related blog, and then post some further reflections here a few days later. Truthfully, this will help me to better reflect for a longer time after the sermon. As pastors, we often live with our sermons for a few days before we preach, but with the nature of ministry and the preparation of another lesson (or 2, 3, 4, etc.), and another sermon, we rarely are able to reflect any more than the rest of the congregation does. This blog is about being in, not of, so perhaps, it this will be an encouragement to all who read it to take time out of the hectic pace of life to add a little more reflection throughout the week.

These two areas (dissertation, and sermon ownership) have caused a lengthy hiatus. But, Lord willing, I intend to be back here mid-week each week with some reflective comments, and perhaps another post or two along the way. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the sermon blogs will move to a new blog started by the church entitled "Bread Crumbs." It can be found here. I hope this transition will be more beneficial for all. Most importantly, I hope this new endeavor can glorify God with whatever portion of Kingdom work, He has assigned to me.

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