On January 1st 2007 I'll be starting up duties as the Senior Minister at the American Church in London. Most days I ask myself just how this all happened, so I think I'll take some time on this blog to share how the job came about, and how my family and I decided to take this huge step. Along the way we'll touch on questions of "calling" and what that means for everyone who seeks to serve Jesus Christ in this life, with some special attention to those who are called to ordained ministry.
While we're on that topic...
On my first day at Fuller Theological Seminary, one of the professors there, Gary Sattler, addressed the students who were beginning their preparation for Christian service. He re-told the parable of the wedding banquet from Matthew 22. He talked for a long time about what it meant to come to faith, and how Christ was promising this amazing party for those who followed him. He went on and on about his own interpretation of the story, about how the guests would all get new clothes and sit at a fancy meal with the choicest and most delicious foods and drink that we could ever imagine. He asked us if we could picture the celebration, and let us close our eyes to soak it all in.
Then he continued, saying that in the midst of this joyous, guilt-free cholesterol feast, some of the guests were tricked into being servers. Their new clothes were ruined. They had to put food in front of the guests, but rarely got to enjoy the meal themselves. The party became more work than fun, and in the end the servers were exhausted.
The servers were the ministers, called to serve the rest of the community of faith. After letting that sink in, Dr. Sattler welcomed us to seminary.
Along the way this blog will explore some of what it means to be called to serve Christ by serving the church and the world. It's not always a tidy topic, and I'll confess right now that far more of it is a mystery to me than I'm comfortable with. But it's also a core part of my life as a Christian, and now I'm taking my family on this leap of faith in order to live it out. If you're interested, stay tuned.