Tuesday, March 27, 2007

update on my life (or part of it)

Few weeks back I blogged about my 'to try or not try for paid church ministry' dilemma.

Shortly after writing that post, I decided 'twas not the career for me: 'church leadership' systems are too riddled with temptation and corruption; the only real reason for entering into them is a need for status and respect; it's far too likely that, whatever my initial idealism, I would end up serving nobody but myself and contributing less to the world than I do as a lowly pew-warmer. Or getting stupidly busy and stressed. No, no, no, I thought. No, no, no.

Last week, for some reason that I really can't put my finger on, I began to change my mind (again). It struck me that, while I will be dubious about the concept of 'calling to the ministry' until it sits on equal terms in church dialogue with 'calling into banking' and 'calling into admin', it does in fact make practical sense for me to be a 'minister'. Just look at the things I'm good at, the things I enjoy, the things that move me and that I'm willing to make sacrifices for. Look at my history and my circumstances. It all works. I love God. I'm a Christian. I care about the church. I see potential for helping people to make the most out of their lives in a church context.

I've also come to the realisation that my current and my previous jobs have ruled out for me the option of ordination as an Anglican priest. For good or bad, my experiences in those contexts have put me off. Other experiences would have encouraged me, I know, and no doubt if I'd worked in Baptist House I'd be gagging for the C of E. But you only have one life!

Tomorrow I'm going to talk to my minister about all of this. Which is a bit nerve wracking because he hardly knows me. I tend to waffle vaguely when I'm nervous, so he might decide I'd be useless. Or I might change my mind about the whole thing before I get there.

We'll see.......


Rich Burley said...

Yay! It's a shame the freaky Church of England has put you off, but it's great that you're still thinking about being a minister - you know I think you'll make a brilliant one.

Remember it's a process - no one's expecting you to be all sorted out and certain the moment you talk to somebody about it.

Perhaps if I'd done the same jobs as you I might be getting ready to become Baptist minister now, but it's all geneflecting and dresses for me now...

Lucy said...

Let us know how you got on! Very interested!

Love Lucy

Steve Tilley said...

I think for a Christian everyone ought to take their calling seriously. God does call some into banking and the banking world has proceedures to check that calling.

We are all called to be priests (I was reminded last night at a licensing). Do you sense a call into a leadership role in this wonderful messy thing called the Church of England? Others of us see you have the gifts to do it.

And frankly dear Anna, what's the point of bringing your obvious ledarship skills into an organisation that doesn't need fixing? You'd be bored. Come and help us fix it. Then we can move on to something else.

Martin said...

Believe it or not, even some bishops (going on what was said in their visitation last night) appear to be sick of some of the things (such as some bits of the church's obsession with sex) which seem to bug you.

There are broken bits in the CofE (and pretty much every other bit of the church I'm sure), but that doesn't necessarily mean that there are parts of it you can't relate to and start working from, which can have a beneficial effect on people.

Then again, I would say it doesn't matter if you become a CofE, baptist or some other denomination's vicar (or equivalent), or don't become a vicar, so long as it is where God is calling you. Just discuss and consider it prayerfully. All the best.

Anonymous said...

Not sure about the theological aspects of the argument, but think you'd look pretty good in a cassock, don't you?

Not so sure about the dog collar though - don't really see that as you.

Sometimes you need to stand back and look at the real issues involved!