The Power of 3 Questions

We had a great retreat at Mt Shepherd today. We, as in the clergy of the Lexington District that is. We were lead in Bible study by our DS, learned about Mt. Shepherd, had free time, and then was led by Rev. Dana McKim (minister of Pfeiffer University and the Village Church) in a time of reflection and then worship. I enjoyed this time because it was peaceful and rejuvenating. But also Dana’s questions at our reflection time I thought were most enlightening. So much so I thought I would share.

Here are the questions:

Identify your three most important relationships beyond your immediate family.
List your three most favorite vacation destinations.
Nae your three most valuable possessions.
Name three acts of self care that you have engaged in this week, this month, and this year (so there will be a total of nine named here)
Name three acts of self care you will engage in next week, next month and next year.
Name your three most significant accomplishments.
Identify three Bible characters that have had the most influence on you.
Name three Bible narratives that have shaped your call.
List three books (not the Bible) that are vital tools for you.
Name your three biggest failures.
Name your three biggest challenges.
Identify your three most challenging obstacles.
List your three most broken relationships.

After a time of reflection on these questions, Dana asked which ones take up most of our time. He told us that most of the time, in our profession, we feel we need to concentrate on the last four questions. But in reality we should spend it on the first four and use the middle to keep working on the those first questions.

I identified with this because I hate failures, challenges, obstacles, and broken relationships. I like to please people and I like it when everyone is happy. Conflict makes me uneasy (although I am getting better at it) and nervous. So I confess I do focus on those last questions more than the other.

How about you? What questions were hard to answer? Which one hit home for you? What answers provide you strength to get through the dark times in ministry?

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Beth Moore????

There is a person who is in my congregation that is a “groupie” of Beth Moore and would like to do a Bible Study with the ladies of the church. I don’t anything about her but was wondering if anyone could fill me in.

Does her theology and teachings match up with the United Methodist Church?
My fear is she is a prosperity type teacher/preacher, is she?

I have looked over the stuff but usually on the surface everything always looks good. Would love some guidance from anyone who has done one of her studies. THANKS.

Question?

As I prepare my sermon on our membership vow, to be faithful in our presence, it got me thinking. We know the old saying, if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there, does it make noise.

Here is my question: If a sermon is preached and no one is there to hear it, is it still considering a sermon?

Clergy Spouse’s Job

Stereotypes abound when it comes those married to clergy. First off many people think they are all women. Second, they all either nurses or teachers. But as two income families become clergy families due to second career ministry, that has to have changed. As I talked to a new minister in our district he talked about his wife’s 70 mile drive (one way) to her employer. He asked us to keep her in our prayers because she loves what she is doing and who she is doing it with but the drive may force her to change locations and employers. (Any Hospice group looking for an Art Therapist in or around the Welcome, NC area, please let me know).

I am lucky to have a very understanding wife who after being frustrated in the lack of employment in her 4 year degree went a different route, one we hoped would travel better. She became a Massage Therapist. (NOT A MASSEUSE, but a MASSAGE THERAPIST, pet peeve of both of ours.) This has opened up some great opportunities for her but is also frustrating too. Now after living in our new appointment her personal clientele is not where she would like it. That is because we are placed in a blue collar town which is suffering and the last thing they will do is chuck out $60 for an hour Swedish massage. Also the commute to other places where she could work is almost too far to make it worth it at this time. Add the cost of CEUs and the price of recertification and it can be frustrating. Yet our congregation is a great support to her as well as me. They allowed her to work out of the home when necessary (which takes veto power from Admin Council and Trustees over the DS) and talk her up in the community. They truly have been a blessing.

Yet, I know we are not the only clergy family out there with those kinds of issues. Which got me thinking about this question. What are your spouse’s stories? Did your spouse give up his/her career for your call to the ministry or change his/her job or career path. Is your church appreciative and supportive of your spouse’s career?

Clergy Spouses have a special place in heaven with all the ‘rubbish’ they have to endure. Yet we could not do ministry without them.

Question – Dealing with Adultery

I am sure many of you out there have dealt with this before and I have a feeling I will come across this in my ministry. In order to work through it before it happens I would love some help thinking this out.

Here is the proposed situation and please tell me how you would handle it. You have a youth worker who you find out, through 2nd or 3rd person and which is not public what so ever, had an affair with another youth worker two to three years ago. One of the youth workers have moved churches and the other is still working with the youth. You don’t know if their relationship is still going or not. The YW who stayed also holds other positions of leadership in the church, such as committee chairs. What do you as the pastor do?

Do you keep that person in the leadership and influential roles that person has? Should that person be leading youth, or other committees? Where does repentance, forgiveness, and love for the youth worker come in to your relationship with that person? How do you, as the pastor handle the situation?

Just thought I would toss that one out there to get your minds away from General Conference.