National Congregations Study Participation

Early this week, I received a letter informing me that Berryton UMC was a participant int he 3rd wave of the National Congregations Study (NCS) and that I was “one of a small number of religious leaders from across the U.S. chosen randomly to again represent [my] religious community in the 4th wave of the NCS.”

The National Congregations Study (NCS) is an ongoing national survey effort to gather information about the basic characteristics of America’s congregations. It is an effort of the University of Chicago and Duke University.

This is pretty great! I have looked at the key findings of the previous waves of NCS research and have appreciated the research. I participated in the phone interview this week and it was fun to be part of the ongoing research on religious congregations in the United States.

I was asked a number of questions about Berryton United Methodist Church, including around the history of the congregation, staffing, worship services, groups and activities, financials, and my background. I am looking forward to seeing the results of the work when they are published and glad to have been part of the process.

You can find out more about the National Congregations Study here.

 

I Will Be Ordained at Annual Conference!

On Monday, the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Kansas West Annual Conference recommended me for ordination and full membership. This is officially a recommendation to the clergy session of the annual conference, however practically it was the final approval in the process for me.

This was a journey that began for me before high school when I remember writing in my journal that I may be a pastor one day. In the fall of 2002 I felt called to go to seminary and during the summer of 2004, while working in Yellowstone National Park, I felt called to be a pastor in the local church. I was officially commissioned as a provisional elder of the anual conference in May of 2007 and in a few months I will be ordained.

Thanks to all of you that prayed for me on Monday and that have been guiding, equipping and caring for me throughout this journey.

My Ordination Interviews

Today I am traveling to Salina to be interviewed by the Board of Ordained Ministry for admission to full connection and ordination as elder in the Kansas West Annual Conference. I have prepared the paperwork:

I have prepared for the interviews as best as I know how.

Will you pray for me today?

Kansas City Business Journal

A few weeks ago I received a message from Peter Metz, Director of Communications here at Resurrection, that a reporter from the Kansas City Business Journal would be contacting me for an interview about the use of technology in the church. Sure enough, I received a call and spent about 40 minutes on the phone with Suzanna Stagemeyer. She also connected with Clif Guy here at the church. Check it out…

Churches increasingly put faith in the Web

Advice, Suggestions and Self-Reflection

Last week I interviewed for a clinical pastoral education position at St. Luke’s Hospital. One of the questions that I try to ask any interview team is this – What advice would you have for me (as a person in his second year of professional ministry)? I received the following responses from the interview team (summarized):

  • Have you thought about a spiritual director?
  • A CPE residency would have been invaluable before returning to the local church.
  • Live a well balanced full life outside of ministry.

Each one of the interview team did not give direct advice to me, but instead reflected on their own experience of life.

In similar situations, do you most naturally give suggestions for other people, tell them what to do or reflect on your own life? Something else entirely?