(CC) Charles Howard–Ministry is out of control

There is certainly a rhythm to ministry. Annual holy days and weekly serĀ­vices provide an important consistency to the vocation. As a university chaplain, I move along an academic calendar, with convocation at the beginning of the year, midterms, fall break, finals, and then winter break. We resume with the second semester, spring break, midterms again, finals once again, and then graduation before entering the much-welcomed summer recess. In late August, we start all over again.

And yet, there are holy interruptions. Some are simply individuals dropping by the office because they need to talk. They might interrupt sermon planning or some of the other quieter aspects of ministry and life. Other interruptions are more jarring, like the middle-of-the-night phone call alerting you to an accident.

The times when I have found myself too often interrupted by the more serious kind of holy interruptions are the times I tend to explore other job possibilities. What I learned that first night of CPE was true: ministry truly does have moments when it is out of control. I have been tempted to swim to the banks of this vocational river and climb out. But staying within the out-of-control-ness of ministry and the out-of-control-ness of life is an important discipline for all of us to swim through.

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Posted in Pastoral Theology