The primary purpose of this blog was to act as a vehicle for my reflections as I went through the ministry training and formation process with the Church of Scotland. It has acted as a place to journal my thoughts on issues and situations and to be a place to raise questions over what I’ve studied and experienced.

In a sense that purpose is coming to an end – although reflecting and questioning will continue. It will be in a different context though and I’m beginning to wonder how to reshape the blog to better reflect that. As I see it, I could use the blog as a continuing reflection of my greater immersion into full-time ministry; or I could use it to reflect on wider issues of faith and culture. I’ve never really used the blog for the latter. Other people cover that more regularly, more effectively and more sensitively that I think I would.

I flatter myself to think that my often rambling thoughts have proven to be useful to those also going through ‘ministry formation’ in whatever shape or form that may take. I suspect that many of the issues I have reflected upon are shared by others. I don’t flatter myself that I have the answers to these issues, only that I have grappled with them in my own way and come to some sort of understanding which sits with some integrity of faith and life. Continuing to reflect on a journey further into ministry possibly smacks a little of pride; that what I have to say may be useful. And yet, I really only ever write for my own benefit/pleasure. The simple fact of making it public though does give a bit of a lie to that thought.

And then there is the problem of what to do with the current blog. Do I draw a line under it and move it to an archive, beginning afresh? Or is a continued reflection on ministry a natural continuation of what I have been doing anyway? If nothing else, I may mark the occasion with a theme change and a tidy up of the various links that lurk around (if yours disappears then it’s nothing personal, just part of the spring-cleaning and different focus). After all, it’s been a while since I’ve actually made any changes to the site itself.

All of this assumes, of course, that I will even have the time to blog, but I have learned the value of the activity over the last few years and I would be keen to continue. Anyway, change may be coming, but there are a few more reflections to go on actually getting a ministry to write about.

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7 responses to “Ch-ch-ch-changes”

  1. hmmm… ministry formation: it’s an on-going, life-time’s work, old friend.  Keep yer blog: I like your [well-considered] ramblings.
    Although, perhaps if you do go for a change, maybe those conversations in the Rainy concerning ‘restless theology’ might be another way of proceeding … I would like to see that as well 🙂

  2. I agree with Nik. Formation is a life’s work and keep a blog. I have enjoyed your posts and have found them very useful. It’s good to know of others who are struggling with aspects of the process and have come out of the end better placed to minister. Our experiences may be different, but that just adds to the mix.

  3. Ah, yes – restless theology. That’s very much still a feature and I may well have a post about that general theme in due course. Been doing some reading that has been helpful – the recognition that our ‘gospel’ is often far too narrow. I think that was what kicked off the whole restless theology thing.

    As for keeping blogging. You’ll gather that there is still some scope for continued reflection before getting to the change point anyway.

  4. Keep the blog alive, John. You will find the time, now and again, to keep the thinking flowing. There is indeed always time for continued reflection. Sorry you’re at square two…but you’re in the game as it were.

  5. My advice would be to keep going until you have to drag yourself to the page and have nothing to share. Vocation is something continual, it’s not once and for all, but a continual questioning.

    To echo others sentiments, as someone who has personally found your blog useful as an insight into the “ministry formation” process I would encourage you to continue writing into your ordained ministry. Another’s perspective is always of value…you can never have too much information.
    However this throws up the question whether you believe the scope of what you can publicly reflect on will change once you are settled into a charge.

  7. Thank you all for the encouragement.

    Jim, I’m glad that the blog has been a useful insight. You raise what I think is the biggest question over continuing in similar vein, but we’ll maybe just see how that works out.

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