I woke up this morning to a pleasant little surprise in my inbox: I received a weekly update from the Fuller Youth Institute about their Top 5 Resources for 2010, and one of my articles was listed.
I have another article coming out with them next month, along with a different article in Youthworker Journal. Allow me to be the first to tell you that this is no way to make a living. "Publishing" in the new millennium is a dicey proposition at best. But I'm also no starving writer. These articles are simply a way for me to be creative and reflective. They also give me the opportunity to share a bit of experience. I stumbled into writing, but I'm really enjoying it. Since spring 09 I've had some twenty articles come out. I really can't believe it. I guess being an English major turned out OK after all...
There is another small course change on the horizon. For close to two years I have been working with pastors in the Free Methodist Conference of Southern California, coaching and collaborating on strategic planning, staff management, volunteer development, church planting, cross-cultural ministry, project management, discipleship, and leadership. So far I've worked with thirteen churches from San Diego to Santa Barbara. In that time I've also started to partner with the superintendents on some other projects, to the point where they have asked me to become the Director of Recruiting and Development for the Conference. So starting in 2011 I will work with several Christian colleges to recruit interns to work in our Southern California churches. Once the interns are recruited I will train the supervising pastors and the interns themselves for this projects. Our hope is to raise up a bunch of new pastors for the future. We have a surprising number of tremendous ministries available, and I am like a kid in a candy shop as I prepare for this.
Because of this I will scale back slightly on my work with Providence Hall, but not by much. I will still be teaching there, plus giving direction to some projects, especially those related to admissions, parent support and community outreach.
I am grateful each day for such enjoyable, meaningful and supportive employment. Yet it would be aimless busyness if not for the great, eternal promises of Christ. As 2010 winds down, these two passages I read this morning sum up what is truly worth knowing and living for. As the prayer for today says, "Christ is coming. Christ has come. Christ will come again." The older I get, the more I really know that this is good news. Hallelujah.
31 May the glory of the Lord continue forever!
The Lord takes pleasure in all he has made!
32 The earth trembles at his glance;
the mountains smoke at his touch.
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.
I will praise my God to my last breath!
34 May all my thoughts be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the Lord.
35 Let all sinners vanish from the face of the earth;
let the wicked disappear forever.
Let all that I am praise the Lord.
Bishop N. T. Wright of Durham has written, “The whole point of what Jesus was up to was that he was doing close up, in the present, what he was promising long-term in the future. And what he was promising for that future and doing in the present was not saving souls for a disembodied eternity but rescuing people from the corruption and decay of the way the world presently is so they could enjoy, already in the present, that renewal of creation which is God’s ultimate purpose — and so they could thus become colleagues and partners in that large project.”
(Find all of this in Common Prayer for Dec. 20)