leadership united methodist church

Healthy Pastoral Ambition?

At times, I wonder about ambition as a pastor in the United Methodist Church. On one hand, I am appointed and sent to serve at a local church by the bishop. It can be unhealthy to always “live in the next appointment” – looking forward to what might be. On the other hand, God has hopes and dreams for our life that can be made known to us. What would you say is healthy and faithful pastoral ambition?

By Andrew Conard

Christian, husband, son, brother, homeowner

One reply on “Healthy Pastoral Ambition?”

I think I agree with you.

Honestly, the only ambition I think clergy–or perhaps Christians–should have is to live out a life of love and obedience to God.

I think it can become very easy to become ambitious in pursuing one’s own dreams and in turn, become obedient to things, people, ideas, and organisations that are not God but perhaps claim to speak for God or act on God’s behalf.

The result of following one’s ambitions in the context of obedience to God’s call may look completely nonsensical–perhaps even seem to be failure–in comparison to Western cultural expectations of what it looks like to be ambitious.

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