Friday, November 03, 2006

Missionary

Today United Methodist Missionary Rev. Evelyn Erbele visited our little church in Coos Bay. She and her husband are serving in the Methodist church in Lithuania. She told us some wonderful stories about the ministry going on there, even in the midst really crushing poverty.

I don't often talk about this, but one of the main reasons that I'm a pastor now is that I once experience a strong call to mission work. I never had a flash-bang experience that told me to get ordained; that was a gradual process. But I did have a flash-bang experience that told me to be a missionary. Melissa and I pursued it heavily at the time, but I was too unqualified to do it at the time -- I didn't even yet have a bachelor's degree. So, I set that to the side, believing strongly that God still had some training in mind for me. It was that spark the set me on the path that led to seminary and commissioning.

But that was seven years ago, and the missionary dream still being unfulfilled, I guess I had pushed it down, out of the way. But Ev's visit today sparked my memory. And now, I actually have the credentials to do it. We'd still have to finish our adoption process here, and I'd have to finish my probationary period here and be ordained, but in a few years, it could be a possibility. Something very interesting to think about.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I never knew any of that. So far as I know, a missionary call is a little unusual in the US these days. I would love to hear more about your call, if you feel like posting or talking about it....

How are things going at your church? Mine had a bout of naughty, but I'm Piggle-Wiggleing them (giving them what the recalcitrant ones apparently want, and letting them see how they like it), and-- perhaps oddly-- we've had really super momentum just lately, including really good worship....

Mary Ann

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

David - it's cool hearing about your missionary call. I hope that someday you can follow it.

I think in the UMC (and probably all mainline denominations) we're a little credential crazy. Does it really take college degrees to be an effective evangelist? I understand that we have to protect people from bad theology and dangerous people, but now we've gone so far in the other direction we're just hurting ourselves. We've created so many barriers to entry into most "official" forms of ministry that most rational people probably don't want to deal with it. Only the really dedicated (like you) make it through, but it certainly isn't easy.

I hope you guys haven't been swept into the ocean down there. I was getting ready to start building an ark up here...

1:07 PM  
Anonymous missionary sarah said...

Hey, glad to hear you've had the Erbele's there. I've been in contact with the missionary who took over the financial responsibilities from Terry in Moscow. He thinks very highly of them. I think you should continue to listen to that tug on your heart strings. Oh--and I read your blog and subsequent comments on the Sophia sermon. As a "six" you should trust your own wisdom and be careful not to over project responses that aren't there. But on top of that, let me just say--bravo! You are courageous and creative, keep pushing people's comfort zones (but let yourself have a breather now and then also).
Blessings,
Sarah

6:38 PM  

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