I woke up this morning absolutely exhausted after the sleep of a dead man. Why was I feeling so tired?
The day before I had taken a funeral. One thing people do not realise when they watch the ‘pros’ do things like funerals is just how challenging we find them. For me, it is not the grief necessarily, it is the difficult place I find myself in with nominal or secular families, longing that they might know the truth and love of God and knowing that I cannot use that context to back up my truckload of truth and dump it on them.
The apostle Paul said in his defence to Agrippa [Acts 26:28,29], I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening might become as I am [a follower of Christ] – except for these chains. I get that.
Then last night the interview panel for our Associate Youth/Young Adult position met to interview our final candidate – and what a fine young man he is. It is such a privilege to have been given three candidates who are people of great learning, character, conviction and calling. Now we have to make a decision as to who is the best fit for St Philips and offer a position that is both realistic and attractive.
The challenge is that our two best candidates pose a question for the leadership group. The question is this: do we go for an unordained, young, pure youth pastor with few other general ministry skills OR do we go for a slightly older generalist, ordained, with strong youth, young adult and leadership pedigree but that bit older, married with kids, who, while very competent, is moving beyond the youth space [perhaps]?
We would appreciate your prayers.
So, this morning I woke up exhausted. Not burdened, just tired from the battles of the works of ministry that take place on the inside and are not readily apparent on the outside.
At prayers, Cathy Kiernan shared from Nicky Gumbel’s devotion for the day:
“A prominent and pompous art critic was looking at a famous painting of Madonna and Child. He felt the perspective was just not right. It was disconcerting, even displeasing. As he looked at it from different angles he was moved to get on his knees and view it from there. There was immediate revelation. Everything came right when the picture was viewed while on one’s knees.”
Whether it is a funeral or choosing a vitally important ministry position, Nicky Gumbel’s point is well made: do it from the perspective of humility, worship and prayer, a place where God is enthroned and “Your will be done” firmly on our minds.
Please pray for the interview panel and PC as they discuss this choice and the future of St Philips after church today.