Ordination Questions, Part 10: Theology of Ministry Statement
Please see the introduction to Part 1 for the context of these questions…
Theology of Ministry Statement: Please make a brief statement of your theology of ministry. It should be no more than 1/3 page, typed and single-spaced. Upon a positive BOM recommendation you will read this statement aloud at the upcoming Annual Conference clergy session.
My theology of ministry begins with the notion that God is love. Additionally, the model of Jesus becoming flesh and dwelling among us is the concrete expression of what it means to be a representative of God in the world.
I believe that sometimes the bravest and most important thing a person can do is just show up.
I believe that spiritual values are transferred best through relational environments and is often more about unlearning things than learning things.
I believe that it is more important to change what people care about than to change what they believe.
I believe that ministry is not giving people what they want, but rather it is about changing the wants themselves.
I believe there is no growth without change, no change without loss, and no loss without pain.
I believe that the church does not have a social strategy; the church is a social strategy.
I believe that Jesus meant to start a movement, not an institution.
I believe my calling is about saving people not saving institutions.
I believe that often the greatest enemy to the movement of Jesus is Christianity.
I believe that movements are living things and multiplication is what mature living things naturally do.
I believe that those who change the course of history are usually those who pose a new set of questions rather than those who offer solutions.
I believe that “us” and “them” are illusions. There is no “them.”
I believe that a pastor is as old as their cynicism and as young as their dreams.
I believe that the greatest temptation of a pastor is to be a hireling rather than a leader.
I believe that the Beatles got it wrong. Love isn’t all we need. Love is all there is.
**I am indebted to many people who have shaped my ideas and been “mentors from afar”: Peter Drucker, GK Chesterton, Frederick Buechner, Dave Browning, Stanley Hauerwas, Erwin McManus, Eugene Peterson, Tony Campolo, Gustavo Gutierrez, Patrick Lenceoni, William Willimon, and Brian McLaren.