Tomorrow will be my first day in my new role as part-time assistant minister at St David's Presbyterian Church, Strathfield. I'm both nervous and excited.
Excited, because for the first time I'll get to play a significant role in guiding a church - preaching, pastoring, strategizing, etc. St David's doesn't have a full-time senior minister - we have an interim moderator, Ian Smith, who keeps an eye on us, but isn't there every week. So I'll get to preach more regularly, interact more closely with the Elders, look after people pastorally, have some input into church plans, and generally pretending to be a minister... though I'm not one… :)
But that also makes me nervous. The trade-off for being able to have a go at all this is - I don't have anyone holding my hand. Usually, the point of being an assistant minister is that the senior minister gives you advice, training… etc. (Well, it doesn’t always work that way. Often the senior guy is so stressed & busy & overworked he just goes “an assistant! Excellent! Here – do this!” – and chucks some responsibility at you and runs off to do the six hundred other things on his to-do list…) But ideally, that’s how it’d work. So you’d get introduced to the roles & responsibilities a bit more gradually.
I do have plenty of people whom I can get advice from: the Elders; Ian, the interim moderator; Peter, a member of the congregation who’s a lecturer at the Presbyterian College. And the church isn’t expecting me to take all the responsibilities of a senior minister. So, it’s not that bad.
Still, I’m taking my role seriously. Tomorrow, I begin to implement everything that I’ve been in training for at Moore, and MTS, and the informal training before that – I begin to have a significant pastoral role, a significant influence in leading the people of St David’s Church towards Godliness. Lord, make me a shepherd after your own heart.