The last few days I keep rereading section 6: Stay for the long term – and keep fresh. It is a great challenge. Beasley-Murray writes about when you stay for six or more years in one place you begin to see growth, and yet he believes that, on average, Baptist ministers stay at one church for six years before moving on, so they miss that key time for growth. This is an even bigger challenge in youth work where workers are often on a contract for two years and then move on.
And yet the rewards of long term ministry can be huge. For example, a key reward, is the way in which with a longer pastorate, you can develop relationships with whole families over the course of several years, which you can’t do in twelve months. Equally, there is an opportunity for the worker to gain deeper and more meaningful friendships which if you are having to regularly move every two to three years doesn’t allow.
To do this though we have to do two things: not view our work as a ‘career’ looking for promotion to a bigger or ‘better’ church; and to constantly ensure we are developing and staying creative so that we don’t become boring and stale.
Some great challenges for children’s and youth work: are churches willing to invest in long term contracts, are workers prepared to stay for the long term, to put down roots, and commit to a particular church and families in the community.
As I mentioned in a previous post South Africa’s Herchelle Gibbs created world cup cricket history by striking six stunning sixes off a hapless Netherlands bowler Dan van Bunge in the Cricket world cup 2007! Even in a small ground it was still incredible batting.
Other highlights/lowlights include
Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer has died after being found unconscious in his hotel room in Jamaica. It all seems very unclear as to what happened. Let’s hope that it wasn’t too linked with the poor six months he has had. Pakistan were eliminated from the World Cup on Saturday after losing by three wickets to Ireland.
Following the infamous forfeited Test against England at The Oval last summer, two of their leading fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, were suspended after failing doping tests.
The pair later saw those bans rescinded but missed the World Cup because of injury, something Woolmer admitted had hindered the team.
Andrew Flintoff’s off the wall behaviour has landed him in trouble, being dropped for the match against Canada, and being fired as Vice-Captain. It is sad when a star of his magnitude doesn’t seem to take seriously representing your country, something that so many young people would love to do.
Their have been some great matches for the smaller teams. With Ireland beating Pakistan, and Bangladesh (my new team, after Phil, Hannah’s brother came back for Bangladesh and gave me a their cricket shirt as a present!) beating India the World Cup isn’t looking quite as straightforward.