Side by side on the church's keyboard ...
Mission and ministry - two words that naturallly occupy the same space and yet, like all siblings, fight and struggle for dominance.
You can't build Church without mission - but you can't sustain church without ministry.
We can't grow church without pioneers - but you can't establish church without settlers!
The problems crowd in when we start to divide up the Church into job titles and work areas, skillsets and roles, but the reality is that many are gifted and called to excel in certain areas and these are often the same areas that our passions lead us to. I guess it's the same conundrum that musical ability presents:
You play on the piano as a child and people affirm and applaud because you are 'musical'. This leads you to play more and learn because you enjoy the attention, approbation and it's becoming part of who you are and what you do. Eventually the question comes:
Are you good at music because you love it Or do love love music because you're good at it?
(After all, you might not feel the same about geography, history, music or administration)
One of the challenges in the world of calling and ministry is that although we have giftings, calling and passions - there is a church to be put, and kept, on the road and though this is a job for all-member ministry, there is a need for those who would be collared to appreciate and, when the need (which often) arises, perform and otherwise enable, support and release others I to the many areas of need in the busyness of church.
The need for Ministerial Development Reviews that inform and help in the discernment of future paths before us is obvious and the task of equipping those who come from the cathedral, newly ordained, with much, or little, in their hands is obvious.
The need for those who will stand and preach the Gospel in the streets and marketplaces; those who will gather together the ones and twos such that church us found, and having done so lead them into the twin realities of bath and bread - the twins who are ever in concord and upon who - looking to the Cross and the return of Jesus, the Christ.
This week is a week of revelation for me thus far as I avoid hearing the words from the front perhaps, putting them aside to hear the heartbeat of God, and hear the words (from the heart) of many around me. Hearing the passion of those who are on the ground reflected in the path that has been trod and the ministry of managing from those in the diocesan offices.
One going the other growing so that more may go - partners, co-workers, each fulfilling their part (and living 1Corinthians 12*)
And the good news to those whose ministry is different (and perhaps strange) from ours:
We love you and value you - Thank You for being faithful where you are
*Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.