I am one of the third types of the human species. You know, we have Male, Female and then Clergy. I have been Clergy for all of my adult, professional life. I am Clergy still.
Clergy folks get to do the most satisfying work in the world. That is, if you are called to it. Clergy get to see people at their very best and help them through their very worst. To serve God as a cleric is a sacred vocation, a true vocare. You are either this or you or not. You do not choose the Cloth but, instead, you are chosen for the Work.
The small church I serve now meets in a charming, older facility with a kneeling bench, semi-circular in arrangement, ideal for prayer. I take advantage of the prayer rail often, feeling it helps me focus on the meekness required of a called cleric. You remember from blog posts past that our working definition of meekness is not mousiness, but, rather, the Biblical virtue called “meekness” is actually a preference for the will of God over the will of self.
So, I pray. And study the written word of God, careful to neither set aside the Bible nor to elevate it to co-equal status with the Living Word of God, the Christ.
And, I meet. Our local ministry ruling body met last night for just more than two hours. We have a lot to do to organize effectively for Christian education and equipping. We need to do the work of outreach training and consistent outreach. Our people want to do effective, consistent Kingdom work and appear eager to train. Joan and I are equally eager to help.
I have another meeting this morning with one of our key workers, then two more later in the week. Meetings are the bane of the clergy if we lack clear goals and priorities. Or, key meetings with helpful leaders and workers can be church transforming, if we intend to make consistent progress through the organizational and administrative process.
Jesus held meetings constantly. He was so cheerful people invited Him for meals, or let Him invite Himself. He was so authoritative learned persons flocked to Him at each opportunity to partake of His wisdom. The late Dallas Willard once noted the people who first followed Jesus did so because of the quality of the information they got from Him; information they could not get elsewhere.
So, we meet. Paul held meetings, as did Peter and John and the mostly forgotten James. John Wesley, the good Anglican cleric (Wesley did not know he was starting a new “denomination.” He thought he was reforming his old church home.) certainly met, organized, prepared his people for effective ministry and ultimately succeeded beyond his wildest dreams and intents.
So, we meet. I know some of folks yawn and roll their eyes as we meet. Still, the work is important and we should do it well.
My week ongoing. I have made exactly five direct outreach contacts thus far. I would do that only if it were appropriate but we have to do things to conserve the result, even before we see the result, do we not?
Ah, for the life of the working cleric.