Advice for training in ministry from FULCRUM

I am presupposing that our lecturers will have much the same advice as is offered here but I thought that this was rather helpful from Charles Reed. It is called 'Keeping Focused - Starting Training for Ministry' and it can be found at FULCRUM. Our dean, Ian Paul is on the leadership team at Fulcrum. Fulcrum aims to renew the evangelical centre. It is evangelical but open and takes a conservative stance on issues in Human sexuality. The writings of Kurht and Kings are definitely worth a read and you can get involved in some good discussions on their forum if that is the kind of thing you like doing. It really helps to sharpen up your thinking.

Charles Reed who must be a lecturer says:

We want you to look at the evidence and decide for yourself. We do not want you to think the same as us – at least not always. 

He wonders if any of us feel these things:
Do you think that maybe you are not ‘the right sort of person’ to be a minister? Yet God has called you into this training for ministry. Perhaps you don’t have much by way of academic qualifications (and you are wondering how you’ll cope with the assignments). Perhaps, deep down, you think that Christian ministers come from a different background to you. 

...we need to be open to learning from unexpected places and people. When I was an ordinand, one of our lecturers strongly recommended a book by an author called Avery Dulles.  One of my fellow students notices that Avery Dulles had the letters SJ after his name and asked if Dulles was therefore a Roman Catholic. “Yes, he is a Jesuit” our lecturer replied. My friend asked: “Well won’t that be a problem?” to which our lecturer said “It may be a problem for you, but I don’t think it is for him!”.  You will find, if you haven’t already, that you learn important (even life-changing) things from authors (and teachers) you expected to disagree with. If you are thinking, deep down, that all this study is actually just an annoying requirement the church authorities place on you and it has nothing to do with spiritual growth or with ministry, be prepared to be surprised! 

Avery Dulles - well, I never!

This is excellent:
“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”.  Keep Jesus central. We are here to serve Jesus, not to promote ourselves. We point people to Jesus (like John did). As we prepare for this ministry, we will meet God in unexpected ways and in surprising places and we will often be humbled (and encouraged) that God has called us (even us!) to this ministry. But we will need to keep Jesus central. “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”.  As Jesus says in our reading: “If you’ve got ears, then listen up!”. 

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A little background reading so we might mutually flourish when there are different opinions