June 29, 2010

2 is the absolute minimum

As you may have picked up on by now, my rector has begun his sabbatical. He'll be back to cover me for a couple of weeks in July, August, and September, but, for the most post part, St. Paul's is a one-priest show until November.

Jesus sent the 70 out in groups of 2.

After three years of shared ministry and three days of planning it all on my own, I've decided that Jesus did this to tell us that 2 is the absolute minimum for ministry. Had there been more than 70 and had there been more time, I think Jesus would have used even larger groups. But at this point in his ministry, on his way to Jerusalem, he had very little time and only 70 willing to go, and so he sent them, IN GROUPS OF TWO!

In reality, TKT and I are still working as a group of two. If I weren't here, the whole sabbatical thing would be really, really tough to pull off, if he hadn't laid such a solid foundation over the last three years, this would be impossible.

But to all of you folks running solo out there, know this, two is the minimum. I don't mean that two seminary trained, ordained, ministers need to be on staff, but I do mean that you have to share the work with at least one other person; lay/ordained, staff/volunteer, pastoral/administrative. If you look around and notice that you are doing it all, remember, your church didn't do that to you, you did, and Jesus wants to see you share the ministry entrusted to you.

So go on, ask for help, invite someone to share her gifts, and be ready to live by my cardinal rule - 2 is the absolute minimum.

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