Encouragement & a prayer – Martin Stewart

I’m very conscious of demands that Christmas brings on ministers and their families in this festive season.  I’m currently preparing for Christmas #29 as a minister.  It should have been #30 but I skived off one time making the most of the opportunity that a shift between parish ministries gave me!
I know we all like to be creative and fresh each Christmas but the simple reality is that we are coming to the year’s end and most of us are catching a sniff of holidays looming close… so we box on, stagger, or limp towards 11am on Christmas Day, and often present ourselves to our families as tired wrecks…  Every now and then I wish Jesus was born in September! Continue reading

Looking to the future – Simon McLeay

Simon is Senior Minister at St Peters in the City in Tauranga

I’m convinced that God has a good future for his Church.  I see signs of life and health in many churches.  I also wonder whether it is time for us to move away from a “one size fits all’ mentality when it comes to ministry.  I’m currently doing some study leave and looking at the leadership styles required for different sized churches.  Continue reading

Missional leadership on the road to Emmaus – Steve Taylor

Steve Taylor is the Principal of the PCANZ Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership

Luke 10:1-12 is a favourite text in mission today. It presents mission as a journey.  Rather than “come to us” modes of attraction to church, mission is “playing away from home.” The disciples are sent by God to spend time in homes, amid the domestic life of local village communities.  They start by speaking the shalom of God to those they meet. Where that peace is welcomed, they stay, accepting the hospitality, respecting the culture and customs of the communities in which they minister. Continue reading

When the shit hits the fan – Silvia Purdie

A word of advice for newbies and old hands in ministry on dealing with stressful situations.
Silvia Purdie ministers at Cashmere in Christchurch.

Sooner or later in your ministry, things will get ugly. Shit happens. People get hurt. People get mad. And the underbelly of your coping strategies gets dragged out into the light. When that happens, how you respond as a church leader will make a huge impact on the outcomes. Continue reading

The Burden of Being Jesus – Andrew Nicol

“I am not Jesus.” There you go, I admit it. My psych test at National Assessment was a bit of an ordeal, but there wasn’t a specific probe into messianic aspirations. I wonder if I’m the only one who’s slipped through?

What I mean is this—of course I understand I’m not quite like the messiah, but in reality I can behave as if my purpose is to be Jesus for others, or on slow days maybe his ‘hands and feet’. I’m beginning to suspect, however, that my family and congregation have spotted some potential discrepancies. Continue reading

Be yourself – but not too much! – Silvia Purdie

Silvia Purdie reflects on the place of ‘self’ in ministry practice and finds herself in two spaces – in Christ and in Middle Earth!  Silvia ministers at Cashmere Presbyterian Church in Christchurch.

I’ve just finished my 3-yearly Ministry Development Review. In the interview I said to my reviewer that what matters most to me at this stage in my ministry is to be less driven by other people’s expectations and agendas and to be more fully and simply who I am. Continue reading

Ministry & Recovery: Did Jesus get tired? by Silvia Purdie

Silvia ministers at Cashmere Presbyterian Church in Christchurch

Here’s a question which will throw your Christology into stark relief: ‘Did Jesus get tired?’. If your Christology is ‘low’ you’ll probably say ‘Duh, yes of course!’; he was fully human, and experienced all the pain and exhaustion that we humans do. You’ll remember that he slept (even in a storm on a lake!), and took himself off alone to recharge. Continue reading