On Sunday Paul took the service solo at the Elim Pentecostal Church in Burton upon Trent. This is the church where we did the Biker service featured on Robbie Coltrane’s B-Road Britain and as I’ve no photos for this Sunday, I’ll permit myself to post some Biker Service pics instead!
I should point out that having gone over-time at the recent men’s meeting I made a point of being super-short this time round! Actually I do prefer to be short-winded rather than long these days as folk can enjoy it more and remember most of what you say too. For me it is a good discipline, makes you more punchy.
Memories of the Bikers service aside I did actually serve as an ‘Elim minister’ for no less than 21 years and would now like to offer a proven tip to any young clergy setting out.
Tips for young pastors – Two types of Clergy
There are two types of clergy in a denomination and you young ministers must make a decision on which type you will be. The first are those that the denomination needs and the second are those that need the denomination! Ministers that congregations and communities really need work hard to develop a relevant ministry where God puts them and to see results. As a direct result they will soon be in demand way beyond their denomination. Ministers who desperately need their denomination to get on have not worked hard at finding their own unique niche. Now herein lies the irony, it is those who really have something to offer outside that are of most benefit inside!
To focus on a career rather than a call is attractive, dare I say even lucrative, but if your denominational career becomes your world what do you have to offer the real world? Young man, young woman, aim higher! You were not called to a career, you were called to preach the Gospel and you should be noticed for your achievements rather than your position. Focus on what God has called you to do and people, communities and even the media will notice you. Focus on the denomination only others who focus on the denomination will notice you… don’t you want better than that?
There are two types of clergy, those that the denomination needs and those who need the denomination! Aim to be the first and you can’t lose. This takes a lot longer than the career route, a lot longer, but its a lot more rewarding for sure. Back to Burton…
The Burton upon Trent church is a good example of where both clergy and congregation put their own neighbourhood first. Sure they are signed up with the whole branding thing and certainly send in the big bucks to support it too, but ultimately they ensure local church life and the preaching of the Gospel come first.