I have pastoral ministry aspirations – like vocational ones – the quit your job and do it for life ones.
But what is that about?
I take my cue from Paul, an apostle – while confessing that I am not (nor will I ever be) and apostle in the Ephesians 4:11 sense of the word.
In his first letter to the church in Corinth, Paul gave them his ministry philosophy:
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
Taking this cue, what do my aspirations involve?
Essentially, proclaiming the testimony of God. This testimony is to be found, not in the lofty speech of human/plausible wisdom – but in the exclusive reality of Jesus Christ – who He is and what He has done. That’s what is meant by “the person and work of Jesus Christ” – a phrase that has had (and rightly so) a lot of use; a phrase that I am happy to include in extensively and repetitively as I seek to minister God’s grace to God’s people for God’s glory. The tools of the trade? The Word of God – the divine testimony of God, given by God, the primary resource that makes known – from beginning (Genesis) to end (Revelation) – the person and work of Jesus Christ.
How then, am I to go about fulfilling my aspirations?
First, by pursuing a dynamic, conprehensive, and ever increasing knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures. In them, I may know for myself the testimony of God as seen in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Secondly, by pursuing that discipline amidst whatever community of God’s people I am called to be joined to – both now, as a minister in training – and whatever congregation I end up being called to.