Our 25 years with a NZ-focus in our ministry lives is drawing to a close. I am a sentimental-type and find myself doing a lot of reflecting on these years - and have even been given the opportunity to do so in the company of others.
(a) The first opportunity came with the Baptist Historical Society back in August where I was invited to reflect on my time in theological education in NZ. I titled the talk Populating the territories - a personal reflection on a decade (or two) in theological education in NZ. Five territories were named - territories that had been surveyed but were still needing to be more fully populated: the Mission, the Bible, the Churches, the Academy, the E-word (evangelical). Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of this address, if you are interested.
(b) The second opportunity came at the annual Baptist Assembly where Barby and I were invited to reflect with pastors on our years in Baptist leadership. We called it The Good, the Bad, and the Blessed as we zig-zagged between Barby responding to questions and me speaking to images that were on the stage.
Barby reflected on the importance of the 'withingness' of the spouse in carving out long-term effective ministry, nurturing the faith of children by putting them in the path of blessing, and managing the stressful times in marriage. I spoke to the koru (the indigenous fern that unfurls with such perfection), two suitcases (on the importance of the word and the world), binoculars and bifocals (on the importance of vision, far and near), and a bathtub (on the emotional drain associated with leadership). There is an audio of this talk - just click here, if you are interested.