Work, Ministry and Vocation Tyndale Seminary MTS Program Oct – Nov 2008 Terry Smith
Course 1 • Original Selfhood (Parker Palmer) Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess. Vocation does not come from a voice “out there” calling me to be something I am not. It comes from a voice “in here” calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original selfhood given me at birth by God. • Source: Let Your Life Speak
Promote Lifelong Learning You can develop lifelong learning traits: • By showing curiosity about human nature and how the world works. • By seeking and valuing diversity. • By persisting in seeking out new solutions. • By using your unique talents and intelligence to promote positive change. • By learning and applying technology tools to solve problems.
Student Responsibilities • Be prompt • Be prepared • Be a respectful and positive participant • Be productive • Be a problem solver
Policies • We follow the Tyndale Seminary guidelines • Please be ready as class begins at that time. • Absences • Ask team members or a classmate first for assignments.
Attendance Policy 1. Three or more unexcused absences from a fall or winter semester course will constitute grounds for failing that course. 2. An unexcused absence of one day or more of any course taught in an intensive format (e.g.,Intersession, Spring/Summer school) will constitute grounds for failing that course. Excused absences include the following: death in the family, hospitalization of yourself or a member of your immediate family or a prolonged illness for which you require treatment by a physician. Excused absences will not be granted for late registration, ministry responsibilities, mission trips, etc. 3. As a matter of basic courtesy, Tyndale students need to make a serious commitment to arriving to class on time and returning from class breaks on time. Students who manifest disrespect for the classroom evidenced by chronic lateness or failure to return from break will be considered in breach of the attendance policy and may be referred to the Dean of Students. 4. If a student knows in advance that he/she will miss a class, the student is obligated to notify the professor prior to that class. 5. Faculty members are under no obligation to provide handouts or other classroom materials to those students who are absent from class.
Grading • In-Class participation (10%) • Reading (20 %) • 2-page personal reflection on Bakke (5%). • 5-page testimony, based on readings from Stevens (10%). • 2-page personal reflection on Guinness (5%). • Marketplace (media) presentation (see Assignment Guidelines) (20%) • Written Assignment(see Assignment Guidelines) (50%) A+ (95-100%) 4.0 A (86-94%) 4.0 A- (80-85%) 3.7 B+ (77-79%) 3.3 B (73-76%) 3.0 B- (70-72%) 2.7 C+ (67-69%) 2.3 C (63-66%) 2.0 C- (60-62%) 1.7 D+ (57-59%) 1.0 D (53-56%) 1.0 D- (50-52%) 1.0 F (0-49%) 0.0
Required texts : Students must read one book from the following three categories Bakke, Ray, The Urban Christian, Downer’s Grove, IL, Inter-Varsity Press, 1987, Pp. 189 pp. ISBN 0877845239 Stevens, Paul, Doing God’s Business : Meaning and Motivation for the Marketplace, Grand Rapids, MI, Eerdman’s, 2006, pp. 251, ISBN 0802833985 Guinness, Os. The Call. Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2003. Pp. 304. ISBN 0849944376.
Course objectives Major goal #1: that you would be an increasingly faithful Christian in your workplace, seeing it as a place of ministry and service, in word and deed; ie, to equip you as a Christian in the workplace – an ongoing process
Major goal #2: to assist you to be an equipper of other Christians in the workplace, sending you back into your congregations as people with a high priority on helping people live out their faith in the workplace, and having knowledge and skills and experience that help you do that more and more effectively.
Parking Lot – First Group Exercise • Having understood the objectives of the course … • Each student will have the opportunity to write down 5 specific questions, issues, concerns, comments on post-it notes • These will be organized according to general themes and probably (!) addressed during the 5 weeks of this course.
First Reading – Bakke, The Urban Christian Small group discussions of Discussion: A. What was most helpful or challenging about the book? Identify key references B. How does reading this book help you understand your own personal sense of vocation?
Introduction Reflexions from the book of Daniel
Daniel 1 • What jumps out at you in reading this passage?
Faith at Work: Daniel ch. 1 • Disaster has struck – key issue = where is Yahweh? • Daniel and friends forced into service of pagan king of Babylon – key issue = how can they serve Yahweh and the pagan king simultaneously? • Selected for their “natural abilities” – key issue = what God-given talents are necessary for the world’s success? • Educated in Babylonian literature and language – key issue = God-given talents are nurtured through focused training, in preparation for service
They are assigned new names – key issue = can they maintain their distinct identity as servants of Yahweh under the pressures of an alien, hostile culture? • They refuse the pagan food – key issue = integrity seen in refusal to compromise faithfulness to Torah, even at great risk • God gave both “natural” and “supernatural” understanding to Daniel – key issue = recognizing and nurturing natural talents, learned skills and spiritual gifts • God’s faithfulness in multiple ways – key issue = recognizing God as the main actor on the world’s stage
What do we mean by “lay people” and what do we mean by “ministry” ? Quiz: Laypeople are... • Non-ordained Christians whose function is to help the clergy do the work of the church. • People in part-time Christian service. • Those who are ministered to by the clergy who are the true church. • Members of the people of God called to a total ministry of witness and service in the world.
Common definition of laity: • the Oxford English Dictionary defines laity as: “the body of people not in orders, as opposed to clergy.”
Laity as passive recipients? • “It is still true that the model of congregational life in the minds of most clergy and laity is one in which the minister is the dominant pastoral superstar who specializes in the spiritual concerns of the Christian community, while the laity are spectators, critics, and recipients of pastoral care, free to go about their own business because the pastor is taking care of the business of the kingdom.” • (Richard Lovelace, Dynamics of Spiritual Life, p. 224.)
Which activities are ministry? • Too often …. • The clergy are, the laity are not! • The clergy do, the laity do not! • The clergy have status, the laity do not! • The clergy are authorized, the laity are not! • The clergy are paid, the laity are not! • The clergy are full-time, the laity are not! • The clergy engage in ministry, the laity do not! • The clergy administer word and sacraments, the laity do not! • The clergy are professionals, the laity are amateurs! • The clergy have specialized training, the laity do not!
Lutheran Church of America - Survey • Question #1 = Do you understand any part of your own life as ministry? 91% said yes. • Question #2 = Which, if any, of the following activities would you consider a form of ministry? • Helping a neighbour in crisis 93% • Teaching Sunday School 91% • Supporting the church financially 85% • Serving on a jury 48% • Working at my job or school 44% • Paying my taxes 32%
What is this telling us? • Activities outside the church building were seen by less than 50% of people as ministry. • A sense of one’s total life as ministry, or being a member of the body of Christ in the world, was not affirmed. • Reflects a dualistic separation of the sacred and secular • Reflects an orientation toward “church work” (participation in the internal affairs of ecclesiastical institutions) rather than toward “the work of the church”
Dualistic Separation • public and private realms • Public – facts • Private – values • the practical result of a dualistic separation of these realms = compartmentalization of faith, through which Christian faith is oriented around Sunday activities, but without much connection to Monday.
My humble (but right ) view • Christian ministry is activity by Christians in every sphere of life seeking to serve and glorify God, as good stewards of their God-given abilities, acquired skills and spiritual gifts.
Ten Theses about Church, Laity and Ministry The Church’s basic reason for being is “to live to the praise of God’s glory.” The Church is an organic fellowship of “God’s people sent on a mission” Gifts of the Holy Spirit have been given to enable every Christian to engage in witness and service, both in the church and in the world All God’s people are laity, therefore we must challenge the traditional clergy-laity dichotomy and reexamine our presuppositions about “lay” ministry In biblical terms, all our “doing” in ministry flows from our “being” The people of God exist in an essential rhythm of gathering and scattering. The laity embodies the meeting of Church and World. The pastor’s most essential function is to equip the saints to use their gifts in their ministries, including their workplace ministries as salt and light. Churches need to avoid promoting unbiblical models of ministry, especially hierarchicalism and compartmentalization Recognize and honour ministry as equally valid in four sphereS
1. The Church’s basic reason for being is “to live to the praise of God’s glory.” • Jean Calvin – “All creation is the theatre of God’s glory.” • The Lord’s Prayer – Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory … • Ephesians 1:3-14 • “to the praise of his glorious grace” (v 6) • “so that we might live for the praise of his glory” (v 12) • “to the praise of his glory” (v 14)
2. The Church is an organic fellowship of “God’s people sent on a mission” (cf. 1 Peter 2:9-12). Mission in word and deed is constitutive of the church. Why isn’t ‘missional church’ an oxymoron? Fundamental nature of the church = body of Christ or people of God. Both are organic, dynamic, animated images. They speak of people and movement rather than buildings and organizational or administrative structures.
3. Gifts of the Holy Spirit have been given to enable every Christian to engage in witness and service, both in the church and in the world (cf. 1 Cor 12). 2 key points of implication: 1) Spiritual gifts are not given to make us powerful, or impressive, or happy; they are given to enable God’s people to serve Christ and to witness to the Gospel in every sphere of life. 2) Spiritual gifts in NT terms are not restricted in their scope of operation to making the internal workings of the church more efficient or effective! When the NT says they are for “building up the body” that does not mean that they are primarily for internal, pastoral support of already-existing believers—but for the extension of that body, improving it, growing it in every way. Their application should not be restricted to Sundays, or “religious” activities. No, the NT assumption is that ALL of life is “religious” and “spiritual.”
4. All God’s people are laity, therefore we must challenge the traditional clergy-laity dichotomy and reexamine our presuppositions about “lay” ministry A. Laos: all God’s people, without distinction, are laos = laity B. Kleros: refers not to “professional clergy” but every Christian’s “share” in the inheritance of the people of God C. Priesthood: in NT, all Christians share in priesthood of God’s people (1 Peter 2:9) D. Diakonia: All Christians are called to service or ministry
“One thing is supremely important; that all minister, and that nowhere is to be perceived a separation or even merely a distinction between those who do and those who do not minister, between the active and the passive members of the body, between those who give and those who receive. There exists in the Ecclesia, a universal duty and right of service, a universal readiness to serve, and at the same time the greatest possible differentiation of functions.” (Emil Brunner, The Misunderstanding of the Church)
“The laity are the prime ministers of the Church. They constitute up to 99 percent of church membership. They are the most typical, the most usual, the most regular, the most ordinary Christians. They are normative Christians. Clergy, in contrast, are neither average nor ordinary Christians. They are not usual. They are not, in general, the means through which the Church is presented to the world….Without its laity the Church has no place in the world” (Ann Rowthorn, The Liberation of the Laity)
5. In biblical terms, all our “doing” in ministry flows from our “being” • Usually, activities outside the church building are rarely seen by Christians (clergy or laity) as ministry. • Usually, Christians do not have a clear, strong sense of one’s total life as ministry, or being a member of the body of Christ in the world. • a dualistic separation of Church and world, sacred and secular, public and private realms; the practical result of a dualistic separation of these realms = compartmentalization of faith, through which Christian faith is oriented around Sunday activities, but without much connection to Monday. • The greatest statement of compartmentalization comes from Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s: Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s: “I speak of faith in McDonald’s as if it were a religion. And without meaning any offense to the Holy Trinity, the Koran, or the Torah, that’s exactly how I think of it. I’ve often said that I believe in God, family, and McDonald’s—and in the office, that order is reversed.”
My favourite quote in this course! • “The problem with Western Christians is not that they aren’t where they should be but that they aren’t what they should be where they are.” (Os Guinness, The Call)
6. The people of God exist in an essential rhythm of gathering and scattering. SENDING: a certain rhythm of 6-days a week of work (exertion, effort, use of gifts) GATHERING: One day of sabbath, rest, renewal and equipping. On Sundays, the people gather for worship, prayer, fellowship, etc. and to be sent out, on Monday, into the world, to serve Christ. Usual form of dismissal in the Sunday service—something is said like, “Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord,” with a reply, “Thanks be to God.” It’s a sending, a mini-comissioning, to daily service, til we gather again, and taking up that calling with gratitude to God.
7. The laity embodies the meeting of Church and World. • “…if the laity of the Church, dispersed in and through the world, are really what they are called to be, the real uninterrupted dialogue between Church and world happens through them. They form the daily repeated projection of the Church into the world. They embody the meeting of the Church and World” (Hendrik Kraemer, A Theology of the Laity)
John Stott - 3 conversions The need for 3 conversions: 1) to Christ as Saviour; 2) to the church as Christ’s body, the community of faith; 3) to the world, loved by God to such an extent that he sent his Son to die for its sake.
Martin Luther on our Call • “God has placed his Church in the midst of the world among countless undertakings and callings in order that Christians should not be monks but live with one another in social fellowship and manifest among men the works and practices of faith.”
Georgia Harkness • “The main business of the Christian, one who is “called out” though remaining in the world, is to exalt the Lordship of Christ over every interest.” Also (pp. 131-132): “It is not the business of the Church, or of any Christian in it, to claim to have all the answers. It is the business of the Church to hold every proposed line of action up to Christian scrutiny—to throw the searchlight of the gospel upon every issue which affects the lives and destinies of persons in God’s world. Ministers can do some of this; laymen by their closeness to the issues can do more—and do it more effectively—if they will.”
8. The pastor’s most essential function is to equip the saints to use their gifts in their ministries, including their workplace ministries as salt and light. Conductor model: Pastor has a particular leadership role Pastor as equipper, trainer, motivator, encourager Pastor as one who creates unity = “harmony” in music, in the group Pastor has to address the weak spots, to get the whole group equally strong (eg, if your violins are great and your brass section stinks, you’ve got a problem) Pastor as chief interpreter of the score = text = Scripture Whole group reading same music (gives a common focus) Whole group is working together to perform it (not just read it) = bring it to life Whole group practices the performance collectively = corporate worship and service (eg, the Mennonite barn raising scene in the film Witness, with Harrison Ford) Each person practices individually = personal devotion, piety Each person is a performer, an actor – no one is passive or excluded Each person has a unique, distinctive, vital contribution using their gifts and talents Soloist model: Pastor has all the gifts Pastor as sole leader Pastor as performer, doer vs. Congregation as passive, recipients of ministry – sit quietly and listen to the expertise of the performer Laity get odd jobs: setting up the stage, handing out programs, sweeping up as custodians, etc.
Elton Trueblood and Ray Stedman • “The ministry is for all who are called to share in Christ’s life, the pastorate is for those who possess the peculiar gift of being able to help other men and women to practice any ministry to which they are called.” (The Incendiary Fellowship). • The primarily task for the pastor is being an equipper for ministry—he or she equips and deploys God’s people in ministries of various kinds, using their gifts. The task is to “shape up the saints” (New Wineskins).
Discussion • How do we define success in the pastorate?
“The New Testament concept of the pastor is not of a person who jealously guards all ministry in his own hands, and successfully squashes all lay initiatives, but of one who helps and encourages all of God’s people to discover, develop and exercise their gifts. His teaching and training are directed to this end, to enable the people of God to be a servant people, ministering actively but humbly according to their gifts in a world of alienation and pain. Thus, instead of monopolizing all ministry himself, he actually multiplies ministries.” (John Stott, commenting on Eph 4:11-12, The Message of Ephesians, 167).
Three vital parts of « equipping » • Establishing or foundation-building • Mending or restoring • Preparing or training
9. Churches need to avoid promoting unbiblical models of ministry, especially hierarchicalism and compartmentalization Bad teaching on the nature of ministry, which compartmentalizes the idea of ministry, and glorifies church-work (eg, “ministry is being a deacon or Sunday school teacher”) rather than the work of the people of God in the world! Hazard: even if someone catches the idea of having a ministry, we relegate it to a compartment!! Benign neglect of faith in the workplace issues altogether (Don’t get me wrong—I love the church, as the gathered people of God, and I love the church as the scattered people of God, just as much!)
Work, Vocation and MinistryClass outline #2: Thinking about work
Reflection: “Most people worship their work, work at their play, and play at their worship.” Os Guinness
I. WHICH STATEMENT BEST DESCRIBES YOU? • My work has special meaning because I have been called to do what I’m doing regardless of how much time it takes or how little money I earn; I was put on earth to do what I am doing. • I am pursuing a lifelong career which I feel is important; I chose to do this kind of work throughout my life; I might change where I work, but I’m not likely to change the kind of work I do. • I am paid to perform a service; I have been paid to do other things at other times, and I am willing to do other types of work in the future if the pay and security are better. • I do not have paid employment at this time; I am uncertain about what sort of paid employment to seek, if any, but I find plenty of unpaid work to do.
II. TERMINOLOGY: SOME PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS A. Work B. Paid work C. Unpaid work (especially “household labour”) D. Leisure E. Vocation F. Occupation G. Profession H. Career I. Job J. Retirement
III. FOUR MISCHIEVOUS VIEWS OF WORK AND LEISURE A. Work as a necessary evil -- "I owe, I owe, it's off to work I go" B. Work as an obstacle to leisure -- "I'd rather be fishing" C. Work as an end-in-itself -- "I'd rather be at the office" D. Work as creative expression -- "I invented Teflon" Challenge: thinking biblically about work in our culture