I have been benefitting from the opening chapters of Dave Harvey’s great little book “Am I Called? The summons to Pastoral Ministry” I picked it up to help me with discernment for others and am finding it an encouragement to me, just when I needed it. I’ll blog a review once I’ve finished it.
At the end of his second chapter on keeping the gospel valued above all things, Harvey writes:
Brothers, if you love the idea of pastoral ministry because you think you’re qualified to help people with their problems, or because you can ponder theology, or because you like the idea of people coming every week to hear the latest thing you have to say, then serve the church by getting off the bus. Pastoral ministry exists for the proclamation and protection of the gospel for people inside and outside the church. We need to value the gospel and know what we have so that we can share it with others. p46
This reads, to me, like a modern translation of Rev William Still’s book “The Work of the Pastor“. Has Dave Harvey been reading it?
‘If you think you are called to keep a largely worldly organisation, miscalled a church, going, with infinitesimal doses of innocuous sub-Christian drugs or stimulants, then the only help I can give you is to advise that you give up the hope of the ministry and be a street scavenger; a far healthier and more godly job, keeping the streets tidy, than cluttering the church with a lot of worldly claptrap in the delusion that you are doing a good job for God.’ p8