9 Things I Learned About Being a Young Adult in Ministry

By Enoch Chang, MDiv ’11

As a 31-year-old, single male in full-time ministry, I’ve reflected on my time post-college and post-seminary and compiled a list of things I’ve learned (mostly the hard way) or things I wish I had known as a student before I entered the “real world.” This is not an exhaustive list. Some items on here can be attributed to personality—I’m an outgoing, introverted, type B kind of person. I can obviously only write from my context. If you are in a different life-stage, what are some things you would reflect on and share with someone else to make the most of their seasons in ministry?

Continue reading 9 Things I Learned About Being a Young Adult in Ministry

Education, Formation, or Teaching?

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

I find that clergy and educational staff continue to struggle to define the nature and scope (as well as the methods and techniques) of what constitutes Christian education. In some instances people choose one camp over the other, like “formation” over “education.” Some have dropped any reference to the term “education” believing that concept is antithetical to discipleship or to their idea of Christian formation or the development of disciples. Continue reading Education, Formation, or Teaching?

Unintentional Detours, Porous Boundaries, and Curiosity

By Jihyun Oh, MDiv ’06

My last day as a staff chaplain was last week. It is the work that I was called to for 5 1/2 years, but it was not something I had planned on doing. I had intended to do the one-year CPE residency and go back to the church. As usual, God had had other plans.

As I look back in my own effort to celebrate and grieve this “unintentional” detour in my life, I see that my call to chaplaincy took on the narrative arc of Holy Week, but that’s another post for another time. Further reflection has helped me to realize that being a chaplain is what really taught me to be a pastor. Sure, I knew how to preach, plan and lead worship, train elders, teach about God and faith, visit people in the hospital, and work with church budgets before chaplaincy. But those were things that I did. Being a pastor versus doing pastor things… that’s what I learned as a chaplain. Continue reading Unintentional Detours, Porous Boundaries, and Curiosity

Being a Good Guest Presenter’s Host

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

I give many presentations at various places. I always appreciate the invitation to give a presentation about things of mutual interest, but I sometimes am frustrated on those occasions when I find myself having to think about my presentation while having to deal with inconveniences or obstacles to delivering a good session. Here are some suggestions from a weary presenter about how to be a good speaker’s host: Continue reading Being a Good Guest Presenter’s Host

Preaching the People’s Lectionary

Teri Carol Peterson, MDiv 2005

I am part of several online groups for clergy—some specifically for supporting women in ministry (revgalblogpals.org), some for young clergy women (youngclergywomen.org), some for people who use the Narrative Lectionary, etc. These groups have been a lifesaver in what can sometimes be a lonely vocation. I have found support for hard days, ideas I can try in my own context, and colleagues nearby to have coffee with.

One of the most common uses of these groups is crowdsourcing—people ask questions about writing liturgy, ideas for curriculum, how to handle tricky situations, what to do with a summer when the lectionary includes 6 weeks of “I am the bread of life.” This year I have seen a large number of questions about organizing a sermon series around suggestions from the congregation—either questions that the congregation asks, or hymns that they love to sing. I have done both of these things, so rather than send you to search Facebook groups (now that the search function has been made extra terrible), here’s an overview of how that worked for us. Continue reading Preaching the People’s Lectionary

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