Friday, February 16, 2018

Would you be part of a heaven-free Christianity?

Sometimes I like to ask loud questions which you're not meant to ask.

A few days ago I asked if the group I was with, all believers, would keep following Jesus if heaven didn't exist.

In short, I was enquired if they would remain firm in their belief if there was no garunteesguaranteed of future reward.

Of course, this scenario doesn't exist and cannot be accurately envisaged, but the question prods at the heart of faith.

Are we in it for the rewards?
Or, would we follow Jesus if there was no eternal silver lining?

The question matter because it not only investigates the relationship of faith has with blessing/rewards but also begins to expose the other things we value, like the companionship, guidance, obedience or preservance aspects of faith which we hold intrinsically dear.

Fortunately, if the bible is trustworthy, then heaven exists and will await those who have trusted in Jesus, but we need to remember that our faith encompasses more than that and, these qualities, will be the things which help you get through the times when faith and the associated blessings seem absent.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

What's the message of your bible reading?

Depending on your traditions and theology, the placement and execution of the bible reading will send a message.

Is it only done by men? Or one of the elders? Or the minister?
Do you nonchalantly ask for volunteers?
Are the passages, generally, long or short?
Would you have a child read the bible? Or a ESL speaker? 
Would you be bothered if the reader was intellectually slow or had difficult with the reading?

The answers to these questions matter.

They matter because they communicate the importance/reverence you place on the bible.
They matter because they communicate how and to whom the bible is available to.
They matter because they communicate who is included.
They matter because they communicate who is deemed "worthy" of being "up front."
They matter because, potentially, being a bible reader could be the first step someone takes to being involved in the ministry life of a church.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The intimidating butts in the pews

Your parents.
Your siblings.
Your spouse.
Your kids.
The partner of one of your children.
Your theology lecturer. 
Your first or most influential minister.
Your ministry hero.
Your oldest friends.
Your non-Christian mate.

For a variety of reasons, each of the above people would be intimidating to be in attendance while you preach.

Maybe they've known you a long time.
Perhaps they know all your darkest secrets.
They may be someone you hold in high esteeme.
You may fear looking like a hypocrite.
You may be concerned if they'll agree or how their thinking of you may change.

But, I wonder, would you rather know they were in attendance or be completely unaware?
Would it make a difference?

From the above list, I've preached before quite a few of them - for better or worse.

And, I'd like to say that nothing was changed due to their attendance.

That would be a lie.

I would be mindful if someone of personal significance would be listening.

It's only natural.

But, in every sermon, there's intimidating people.

Someone who is giving church a chance after years away.
Someone who has had a near faith-wrecking week.
Someone who was the former leader of your denomination.
Someone who has preached on this passage previously.
Someone who holds a doctorate in theology.

You just aren't aware.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Non-ministry prayers

In ministry, prayer is fairly easy.
Well, about as easy as it can get.

You have other people to pray for.
You have activities to pray about.
You have events just gone and things upcoming.

Out of ministry, your prayers change.
Other people's needs still exist and church activities are still a concern, but now you're less invested.

So, you enter the season of non-ministry prayers.

Now, prayer is far more personal.
Now, prayer is more localised.
Now, prayer is non-ministry dependant.

And this shift of mindset is... Jarring.

Outside of ministry, ecclesiastical life is far less stressful.
It's dramaticly less busy.
It's nowhere near as nerve wracking.

Non-ministry prayers, generally, feel less desperate.

This makes sense since, to a degree, your employment depends upon results.
Ministry prayers are caught up in the whirlwind of pastoral concerns, events and activities.

Non-ministry prayers are spared of these burdens.

To an extent, it's freeing to praying outside of the ministry bubble.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Why making a video would have been stupid for me


They are cool.
They make notices far more palatable.
They provide excellent hype.

And, in all my years of ministry, I never made a single one.

Doing so would be a big fat waste of time.

At least for me.

In order to create a video, going for only two minutes, would have taken hours of time and a huge chunk of my headspace.

For what?

A video that would, in all likelihood, be fairly forgettable and contain scarse eternal significance.


Because I didn't know how to make videos and doing so would be an incredible misuse of my time.

And, that's ok.

Other people create videos.
People in my congregation.
People on the Internet.
Websites, both paid and unpaid.

Videos in far less time. 
To a far greater quality.

In all jobs, including ministry, there will be peripheral tasks which, frankly, don't provide the bang for the effort you'd need to put in.

Doing these tasks would be stupid.

That would have been me, slaving away at learning software and creating a,  fairly ordinary, video.

Put simply, the energy:output equation never even got close to making sense.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Would the need to poop ever be a sermon stopper?

I mentioned in my pre-sermon checklist the importance to poop before you preach. No one wants to be, at worst, uncomfortable while speaking.

But, I wonder what would happen if you were preaching, or leading a church service, and the urge to poop struck?

Sure, I'd hope you'd be able to tough it out (I was going to say suck it up, but that didn't sound quite right). But, what if you couldn't...

What if the feeling was beyond an urge?

Would you stop what you were doing?

Ideally, if you were leading a service then you could just get someone, between service elements, to sub in for you and take over off the cuff.

But, this is far more difficult mid-sermon.

If you're on the verge of a poo explosion ten minutes in?

As a sign of authenticity and genuineness you could just announce your need and duck out for a few minutes.

Alternatively, you could try to grant yourself a communal or spiritual window by asking the congregation to share with the person next to them or prayerfully consider a point for a few moments.

Of course, with these options you run the risk of your absence being noticed and needing to be stealthy in your departure.

From a congregational standpoint, how would you feel if your preacher took a poop break?

Would it be funny?
Would it be awkward?
Would you feel more empathy for the preacher?
Alternatively, would you feel disgusted, offended or removed from a "spiritual" moment?

No matter, one course of action couldn't be for the preacher to poop themselves in the pulpit. 


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Praying for the new academic year

This morning at church the service leader did something I can't recall happening during a service I've attended and something I'm unsure ever occurred for me to do while in ministry.

They prayed for the children entering a new school year while they were in the service.

As a parent of a child going into another school year, it was really nice.

It reinforced for us as a family, but also for the children themselves, that we are a significant part of the community.

I liked how the church went out of their way to pray for the children, schools (even individually named) and the staff at the schools.

Usually, this kind of courtesy may be extended to the schools where a church teaches scripture, but this seemed to come purely from the place of wanting to bless the children and schools.

It was a really nice part of the service and reminded me that small gestures like this can have significant value for community building.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Giving a leg-up in open prayer

Awkward silences.

These can happen during church services.

Some are due to the moving of the Spirit when convicting people of their personal or communal sin. These are positive awkward silences.

Then there are the awkward silences which happen at the start of "open prayer."

The worst kind of these have little to do with the Spirit, or hesitant courtesy birthed from the desire to let others go first, instead it comes from a poor explanation of what is about to happen.

Maybe the leader just assumes that everyone knows how open prayer works and are comfortable with it...
Perhaps they just expect that there will be enough extroverts to get the prayer-ball rolling...

But, sometimes people need help.

Or, at least, a clear explanation.

Open prayer, ideally, should have someone recognised who will start and conclude the prayer. 

Better yet, a few launching points to get them comfortable would be grand.

I don't know why we toss open the doors of prayer, but all too often, don't give people enough structure or assistance in order to make what can, and should be, a meaningful experience run smoothly.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The departure video shouldn't be a eulogy.

Due to life stage and vocation transitions I've farewelled a number of churches. 
Over the last few decades I've seen a lot of others leave churches.

Some have been ministers or other staff members.
Some have been longtime members.
Some have been moving away or going on a mission assignment.

I don't think I've ever had a farewell video/PowerPoint presentation made about me. 
But I've seen a few.

It reminds me of a conversation I had many years ago with a close friend from bible college.

He was in the process of making a video package for a couple who had got married and we're moving on to a new church.

Ultimately, he had to stop what he was doing and start again.


Because he realised that it looked like they had died.

Just like me, working for a church, he had seen his fair share of eulogising videos from funerals and it occurred to him that his video looked identical.

This is the danger of departures for those organising the farewells - they become too much like funerals.

Admittedly, they can/should be tinged with sadness. But, it should be measured appropriately.

No matter how long someone has been a member of the community, especially now that they can be kept in contact with/stalked via social media/networks, they aren't dying.

We should remember that, since we don't want to replicate a funeral.

And, if we falsely ratchet up the sorrow for a departure then we leave less appropriate mourning for permanent departures.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How I failed my scriputre classes

My eldest finished her first year of schooling sat year.
With that being the case, she also finished her first year of scripture.

For the most part, she really enjoyed it.

And it made me feel like I missed a massive opportunity.

Even deep into the summer school holidays, I'll still overhear my daughter singing songs she learnt in scripture.

I robbed my scripture kids of that chance.

Admittedly, I didn't teach many kindergarten classes over my decade-plus of scripture teaching, but, no matter which years I fronted, I avoided the musical components of the lesson like the plague.

I'd like to say that it only had to do with my lack of musical prowess. But the real reason is far darker.


I didn't like the songs.
I didn't want to sing them.
I didn't want to be heard singing them.

I was wrong.

I should have sucked it up.
Someone should have told me that it's an important part of the lesson.
I should have put the needs of the students above my own.
Just like I'd be prepared to do with teens, I should have left my dignity at the door.

But I didn't.

And, the more I hear my daughter sing songs from her scripture classes, the more I realise that my needs weren't the ones which should have been at the forefront of my mind and I denied them one of the most powerful ways young children learn about God.

Monday, January 15, 2018

When you DIY then you can adequately judge others work

Over the last month I've been knocking off another subject of my education degree, this time on the utilisation of technology in the classroom.

While looking at designing lessons, there was a strong suggestion that the best way to learn how to create an effective lesson and be throughly comfortable with the intergration of of the technology you use, is to create as much of it yourself as you can.

With the plethora of prepackaged lessons this could, quite easily, be a step you choose to omit.

Because lesson creation is time consuming.
And what you create might bomb.

Any ministry worker faces the exact same challenges.

Sermons take time... And you can just download a transcript.
Youth group curriculums take time... And you can just purchase a term program.
Kids talks, with a great hook and an exciting craft, take time... And you can search the web for a million ideas.

But, what you find won't be yours and it won't be as good a fit for your context.

So, while you'll save time, you might not do as effective ministry.

Now, I get it, everyone gets busy and seasons sometimes demand that you use your time in other places than preparation-from-scratch. But, if you want to be truely proficient at preaching/teaching and good at identifying great resources, then this talent and eye is best developed with hands on, creating, experience.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Best of...

2017 has, numerically, been my least productive year of blogging, but there have been a few highlights.

My most viewed posts were Is Your Ministries' Spouse Your Future Killer? (which is a little disturbing if people are genuinely Googling whether they might be murdered by the spouse of a minister) and The Divorce Post (which is more understandable since it explains a great deal about what's been going on in my life over the last few years).

Over the last twelve months, I did do a series based off the same-sex marriage plebiscite held in Australia and it's implications (my post the night before and the repercussions for society and the church.

Aside from that, my other favourite posts were... 

Avoiding Church Nepotism (my third most viewed post)

Are Periods or Mental Illness too Offensive for Facebook?

Do we Consider the Believer's Drain Caused by Religious Schools? 

The Church Without Old People is Weak

Could we now Describe a Fearful Hell?

The Message of "Dear Graeme..."

Why Wanky Questions Don't Work

Anything But a Christian

The Freedom of only having One Service

How Does Our Sex Talk Sound to the Outsider?

How do you Handle Small Group Mutes?

My Gay-and-in-ministry Questions

Church White-guy Privilege 

"Second Chances" Staring Graham

Prayers of the People Hacks

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Why you should put a bunch of faces with a church notice

Church notices are a nessesarily nuisance in churches. Hopefully, they are kept relevant and punchy in order no minimise the disruption of a church service.

The best notices, aside from being applicable to an important chunk of the congregation and encompassing a short timeframe, also include faces.

For, notices shouldn't happen in a vacuum.


Because ministry doesn't happen in isolation.
Ministry involves people.

So, notices should, ideally, have an invitation for all those who are involved in the ministry activity, if comfortable to do so, to make themselves known.

The reasons are simple.

It gives any enquirer more people to speak with. This is advantageous if the up-front speaker is occupied or, for whatever reason, someone doesn't feel comfortable to speak with.

Furthermore, if the participants of a ministry reveal themselves then it further displays what the activity is like. You instantly get an idea of what age group or life stage, if applicable, who attend/help out.

Finally, from a purely self conscious perspective, lifting the veil of annonomous attendees dissipates the fear that being included would be unpopular. After all, who wants to be involved if you're the only one you know?

When it comes to church notices, relationships are golden. 

The best way to open conversations about a ministry is to nudge those involved out of the shadows.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The divorce post

Yesterday, after more than a year of separation, six months counselling, thrashing out a parenting agreement and letting lots of water go under the proverbial bridge, I got divorced. 


That might, if you don’t know me personally, come as a surprise.

But, when everything hit the fan and this started adversely affecting my eldest, it was the best move to make.

Of course, there’s more to the story, but for the most part, my ex and I are amicable, ended up filing for divorce jointly and are both now in new relationships.

So, what does this mean?

Does it trash everything I’ve every thought about marriage or discredit everything I’ve ever written about marriage? I don’t think so. Most of my thoughts on the significance of marriage weren’t based on the success of my own. The majority of it, I hope, was grounded in the bible and, if anything, based on marriages around me, healthy or otherwise.

So, what were the results of this whole messy process?

While my separation started after I left my last ministry position, from the moment it became fairly clear that we would be heading towards the direction of divorce I stepped away from ministry completely, including the intermittent preaching I was doing.

Honestly, that was hard. It still is. I miss a lot of things about vocational ministry.

I’ve lead one bible study over the last year. Nothing else.

Which brings me to church...

Currently, I attend two churches. One with my daughters, another in the evenings when I'm not with my girls.

Speaking of which... What does this mean for my family?

While not living with my daughters 24/7, I'm with them as much, if not more, than when I was in ministry - dropping them off to school twice a week, picking them up two or three days alongside staying over and having complete care every second weekend.

While not ideal, we're making parenting work as best as we can.

What does this mean for my faith? 

Unsurprisingly, it's been tough, but God and I are doing ok.

I've needed to be reminded that, even in my brokenness, God has and does not change. He is still faithful. He is still true. 

Just as much as a decade ago. Or two years ago.

My worth does not depend on what I do, or try to be a part of, for God.

Will I be stepping back into ministry?

Probably not. At least not professionally. Or at least not for a long, long time. Stepping away from ministry has, in many ways, been refreshing.

Training to become a teacher part time, while juggling everything else, has been a welcome change.

Finally, what does this mean for this blog?

In short, from my perspective, not a lot.

I'll still write my Ramblings since, in part, they are for me. They help me process. They help me declutter. They, ever so slightly, keep my mind for God sharp.

Will you continue to read, now knowing that I'm divorced? I don't know. That's your call.

But, one lesson that's been unravelling, and still has a long way to go, has been my change of standing in the church.

I was sitting on a golden ticket.
In ministry.

I'm a problem.
I'm someone you need to wonder about.
I'm a marker of your values of "welcoming" and "inclusiveness."
I'm a person where your preaching of grace is on display.

Frankly, being officially divorced for a grand total of one day, I don't know what that means going forward, but I'm as sure now, as ever, that God loves broken people, He remains beside failures, He can and does still use those who are difficult or messy.

For years, I told others this.
For years, I wanted churches and ministries to reflect this.

Now... This includes me too.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Thanks for what I didn't do...

ACTS - Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplementation.
SPIT - Sorry, Please, I love you, Thanks.
FULLTILT - Focus, Up, Lay it on the Line, Lap it up, Thanks, I want/need, Listen, Travel.

No matter what method you favour, prayer is a common topic wrestled with by Christians.

Often, we wonder what we need to do or what we should include.

One element which rarely gets a mention, but could drastically transform the way we see our times of prayer, are the things we did NOT do.

All too often, the above statement would be interpreted negatively.

We didn't help others.
We didn't show mercy.
We didn't act lovingly.

But, what about the times we didn't sin?
What about the times we successfully resisted that habitual failing?
What about the times we walked away from gossip?

How would our prayers sound if we celebrated these moments?
Would our spiritual self esteem look better?
Would we draw greater encouragement to resist temptation if we intentionally looked back on the times we were successful in thwarting sins' snares?

When we asked for praise points, why don't we share what we could have easily done, but, with the help of the Holy Spirit, didn't?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Does being small or fat affect youth ministers or teachers?

While I'm no Goliath, I'm the average 6-foot, 70-kilo/130-pound guy.

In high school, I was a shrimp - not truely hitting my growth spurt till I'd graduated - with big friends. While I was ostracised to the front row in school photos, those in the back row were giants.

As a result of my physique, while I might not be the biggest guy in the room, I can't think of an occasion when I've been physically intimidated in a youth group or scripture class.

But, then again, I'm not a petite 5-foot woman.

When faced with a class where half could tower over you, are you aware of it? Does it affect the way you discipline?

When it comes to youth groups which play games, is it intimidating? Are you aware of the size difference when having difficult conversations?

As an average bloke, these thoughts almost never go through my mind.
If things ever got out of hand, I was confident that I'd be ok.

Additionally, I've always been fairly slim.

If you were of a larger carriage/obese/fat (select whichever term you want), would that be in your mind?

Would you be self conscious in front of students?
Would you be afraid that you were being made fun of (which we did to some of our teachers at school)?

At worst, in starting to lose my hair and have a broken nose. These issues don't plague me (at least outwardly!).

But, I wonder, what role does physical stature play in the role of youth ministers or teachers?

Friday, November 17, 2017

Post-Plebiscite ponderings - The church

The world didn't end.
The sky didn't fall in.
Armageddon wasn't unleashed.

During the week the campaign for approving Same Sex Marriage was successful in the marriage postal plebiscite.

So, since the end-times weren't unleashed, what does this mean for the church?

To start, it's a clear statement, if we needed one, that the church no longer owns marriage. If it ever did, the tradition of matrimony now, primarily, resides outsides the churches walls.

Second, this should open up loads of discussions.
And, hopefully, ministry opportunities.

Some churches, and specific ministers, will become known for allowing their buildings to be used for gay weddings or officiating the ceremonies. During that process the church can show the grace and love of Christ and share some of the imagery pointed to by marriage.

Additionally, I'd hope that churches and ministers who are still against gay marriage will be humble enough to point perspective couples to those who will, in faithful conscience, perform the ceremony.

This leads to my third point. This vote allows, in the main, for the church to be grateful losers. We can show that we will accept governmental decisions which we might not completely endorse.

For many, the image of a humble church will be a refreshing, even somewhat healing, change.

Finally, the church, as she always has, should continue to preach the gospel of Jesus. He came, taught, died and rose again for everyone, no matter their sexuality or marital status. No matter how this vote was going to pan out, Jesus is still Lord. He is still soverighn. He is still faithful. He is still good.

At the core, the churches message shouldn't change.

It's up to the people within the church, as it always has been, for the gospel to be spread, conversation to be had, grace extended, mercy and compassion shown and ministry opportunities utilised.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Post-Plebiscite ponderings

61-39... Close enough to the 60-40 I predicted last night.

As of 10ish this morning, the results of the Same Sex Marriage plebiscite came through in favour of the affirmative.

Last night, in all my ponderings, I didn't mention two things.

The first, while I mentioned that the topic of SSM won't be resolved immediately, it should remain clearly stated that this result actually guarantees nothing.

All that happens now is a free vote in parliament. Nothing more.

The parliament should follow the will of the people, but they aren't compelled to. 

As for the numbers, while 3 out of 10 voted against, when compared with our elections, usually over 45% of people voted in an alternative way than the winner. 

After an election, we can move on. After this result, surely the same can happen.

Furthermore, any legislation which is passed can be under serious challenge due to the current controversy surrounding the constitutional legality of the make up of the current government.

Second, in all my half-baked opinions, I realise I haven't mentioned the church. I'll do that tomorrow - stay tuned.

In the end, when I woke up this morning, I wondered what it would be like to be gay and wondering what today held.

Truthfully, I was bothered.

I was bothered that my future was placed in the hands of others complete strangers.

People who didn't know me...
Who will, most likely, never meet me...
People, potentially, influenced by some of the things I pondered about yesterday, which are completely out of my control...

I hope, again, without telling you how I voted, that now the nation can begin to move on. 

For, today, no matter which box people ticked, Australian society began to change.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Plebiscite Ponderings

In around 10 hours Australia will have the result of the postal plebiscite concerning same sex marriage which, seemingly, as been going on... Forever.

When this massive, and incredablly expensive, undertaking was announced there were fears that the debate would be ugly. And, while the exercise has been drawn out, generally, the whole exercise hasn't left the nation in a smouldering heap.

But the plebiscite has brought a few things to my attention.

First, like with any issue, there have been idiots, nut-jobs and crazies on both sides. As per usual, they have been the loudest voices at the table and the ones who have garnered the most attention. 

Second, I've been concerned with the personalisation of industry. QANTAS, Coke, ANZ, the Australian Medical Association, universities, the AFL and the NRL all took very public 'yes' stances. They were not alone. Nearly every industry and sporting organisation was touched by rainbow support.

This concerned me since, seemingly, their stance insinuated that their entire corporation was in support of 'yes.' Frankly, this could not go the case and I wonder how this affected those against SSM, for whatever reason, within these brands. Could they speak out? Were they annoyed that they, potentially, were misrepresented? Is it proper for a business to back a political or social agenda? If so, they why don't the same companies publicly announce their positions on abortion or euthanasia? Will they back a candidate or political party at the next election? I think not.

Furthermore, this support for the 'yes' vote reached into politics, with both leaders of the political divide encouraging people to cast affirmative ballots and the Lord Mayor of Sydney using thousands of dollars of public funds to decorate the city centre rainbow. Once more, did this ostracise those on the no side of the ledger? Was this appropriate use of taxpayer funds or time of public officials?

And this raises my third concern, where was the public 'no' support? From the start of the plebiscite, it was announced that no advertising companies would produce or run ads for the 'no' campaign. No company came out against the idea. Outside of politicians, very few public figures said they were against SSM. While TV stars, entire programs, radio stations and hosts were quite vocally affirmative, I wonder how many were forced to remain closeted in their alternate view?

Why would they speak up? Look what happened to Israel Falou and Margaret Court. They, for religious reasons, publicly (and fairly respectfully) said they would vote no and they were slammed, shamed, ridiculed and ostracised. 

This didn't seem like open, fair debate.

Beyond this, it seemed that everyone just retreated into their conclaves in order to hear the echo chamber of their position. Very few genuine public debates were had, if any.

As often happens, those on the opposite side of the argument were labelled bigots and intolerant or anarchists and liberals. 

Far too many people were prepared to 'play the man, not the ball.' They were open to criticise the character of a person, not their arguments.

And, from either side, I didn't hear many positive arguments. I heard lots of scare campaigns. A bit of progressive witch hunting. Some warnings of a slippery slope. A dash of eye-rolling at conservatives.

I didn't see or hear much engagement.

If anything, I think the 'yes' campaign lost more votes, in some ways, than it gained. Via the more militant, aggressive arms of their argument, I believe they nudged a sizeable chunk away from their cause. The Australian tendency to push back, or even do the opposite to the desired outcome of a bully - just to 'stick it up them' may have swollen the numbers in the 'no' camp.

From this standpoint, advocating for prompt return of ballot papers, was a step in the right direction for the affirmative case since it restricted the chance of people changing their minds to, I suspect, a 'no.'

With, reportedly, the response rate being just shy of 80%, it has been shown that, as a nation, we do care about a political question that we find interesting and, again, as a nation, we could move towards either non-compulsory voting or postal elections.

Now, no I won't tell you which box I put an X in.

But, I do have a two predictions

First, I suspect that the vote will come back 'yes,' but it will not be a landslide... I'm guessing around 60-40. If anything, this plebiscite will be a reminder, on SSM, exactly how divided we are.

Second, this issues won't be resolved soon. 

If the answer is 'yes' then the ramifications for religious and conscientious objectors must be secured (an increasing point of conjecture and motivator for some 'no' devotees) and laws ammended. 

If the result is 'no,' while it might kill the issue politically for a generation, I can't imagine the 'yes' supporters will accept the decision. They will question and challenge everything about the plebiscite and its outcome.

I'm not convinced, either way it plans out, that the 'losers' will drift quietly into the night.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Avoiding church nepotism

In general, unless they turn into Satan-worshipping-hedonistic-prodigals, minister's kids are awesome.

I've loved having minister's kids involved in the churches and ministries I've been a part of.

They are talented.
They are invested.
They are... Always around when you need them.

But, this leaves a lot of churches open to the charge of nepotism.

If the minister's kids are in the band...
Or leading at youth group...
Or heading up the children's ministry...
Or taking over when the minister retires...
A tinge of nepotism can exists. 

The minister, even subconsciously, can favour their offspring.

But, how is ecclesiastical nepotism avoided?

In short, if the minister is the sole decision maker, you won't. 

So, as a rule, a minister should never be the one selecting their child. 
Someone else does.

Or, the minister doesn't select their children's involvement in isolation.

For, as talented, faithful and Spirit-driven a minister's kid might be, human nature will make people's mind wander towards genealogical favouritism.

As a minister, they should want to avoided this.
And, for a minister's kid, the accusation of nepotism should be something they never need to answer or wonder about in their minds.