Wednesday, February 16, 2005

out of sync

Warning: real honest blog post: Most of us have deeper needs that shape our movement in, and into, ministry. It can be the need to help or the need to explain. Such needs are neutral, but remain open to a warping into good or evil. So the need to help can lead to burnout, while the need to explain can lead to poor listening.

My need is to prove myself, to take up every challenge thrown at me. It was a huge insight to discover this in seminary. And as a flow on, to realise that every challenge sent my way need not be responded to. In response to my need, I have often returned to Luke 1 and 2, the sheer unexpected gift of God’s encounter, which stands against my need to respond, to justify, to explain. (Those who know me well, will want to comment that I am still in process on this issue).

But it means that when someone from outside my headspace asks me to prove myself, or my ministry, they are syncing with some pretty big personal and formational needs and desires. My reluctance to provide measures of fruit for the emerging church could be construed as avoidance. For me, it is about an awareness of what drives me, and a desire to be increasingly thoughtful about what issues I need to prove.

This does not mean I will remain silent, but it is an honest reflection on who I am at this moment in my life.

Posted by steve at 04:55 PM


  1. i’m impressed you learned your “need” in seminary. it took me much longer to figure out that i have a need to “save” people. i want to be the one to help them. this can be great in ministry sometimes but other times it can swerve into co-dependence and “stealing” struggles from people.

    Comment by robert terrell — February 16, 2005 @ 5:31 pm

  2. Impressive Steve. I can imagine that for someone who has these types of needs that post would have taken courage. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by phil — February 16, 2005 @ 7:35 pm

  3. respect.

    Comment by finker — February 18, 2005 @ 12:20 pm

  4. Thanks for the honesty – I can relate – you have expressed something in my own life that I’ve never been able to put words to

    Comment by Pete — February 19, 2005 @ 7:50 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.