I've just been chatting with a Moore College grad who's come back to minster here in Tassie. It was really intersting to chat with him about the difference in culture between Sydney and Hobart. Sydney's intense, stressful, vigorous, cutting-edge. Hobart's laid-back, clean, comfortable. You'd live in Sydney if you wanted to get places and be at the forefront of everything. (Well, if you really wanted to get places you'd have to go to New York... but you get the idea.) But no-one moves to Hobart to move up in their career. Most (all...?) salaries here in Hobart are lower than Sydney. People move to Hobart for the lifestyle. It's quiet, clean, safe & comfortable. You can actually relax on the weekend. Beaches, mountains, vineyards, world heritage areas... they're all within a couple of hours' drive.
That makes a difference to the ministry issues we face. The issues we face at Sydney are workaholism, careerism, wealth. Here in Tas, it's a lot more laid back. The challenge is to help people see that if they're not in touch with the creator, they're not actually in touch with nature - regardless of how "green" they are. They gotta see that "sin" is much deeper and more personal than environmental pollution.
And it makes a difference in ministry style, too. Sydney ministers tend to be workaholics. What do you expect - it's the big city! Everyone's like that! But here in Tas, that'd be really weird. If a minister was over-enthusiastic & vigorous, he'd freak people out. We actually need to relax and enjoy ourselves.
Need to relax?
Yep. Need to. Workaholism is not an option. Not like Sydney, anyway.
So - all you Sydney ministers - when're you moving down here...?