Throughout my eighteen years in pastoral ministry, in three different churches, I found myself asking some questions. I was surprised to find the questions didn't change even though my ministry positions did-from youth and children's ministry on a small staff in a changing urban neighborhood to youth ministry on a two-person staff in a booming new suburb to Christian education ministry on a large staff in a stable, college town. In each setting, I pondered issues like these:
Why did a mistake cause people to lose trust in one pastor, when a similar mistake could be overlooked in another?
Why did I encounter walls of resistance, when later, asking for much the same thing, I found little hesitancy?
Why did I feel stretched and excited, yet at other times bored-in the same job?
Where was I growing and going in my ministry? What should I head toward? Where should I put my energies?
I tend to analyze things, and as I observed and talked with others and continued to reflect, I began to see some ...1