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  • This week's focus - Mentoring and Selecting

    Yesterday I left home at silly o'clock to travel by train to meet with a NAM I am mentoring in the north of England.  Today I went into the centre of Glasgow to meet with a PAM I am mentoring up here. Tomorrow I will at the Board of Ministry interviewing a candidate who feels called to follow this same path. In between times there have been all the usual (and some not so usual) things to get on with also.

    I've been pondering what it is I think mentoring is about, and I think it really comes down to three things:

    • listening
    • normalising
    • encouraging

    Listening to what is written/said, and for what is not said/written

    Normalising the experiences, feelings, concerns and questions

    Encouraging the mentee by affiming what is already good and offering suggestions if help is sought/needed


    And I think that the kind of interviewing I'm doing tomorrow needs much the same facets, with underlying question 'is this person someone who, with the right nurture and support can be a good-enough minister of the gospel?' I hope the person I meet will feel they were heard, valued and encouraged by the experience.

  • Preaching on Scriptural Silences...

    Our sermons/reflections on January have focussed on three episodes in Jesus' early life as recorded by the writer of Luke (circumcision/redemption of first born; visit to the Temple around the time he became bar mitzvah; baptism at around the age of thirty) alongisde some speculation on what filled the very obvious silences... we looked at games children played one week, synaggoue eduction another, and synagogue and temple worship today.

    In a sense, we did what preachers always do when confronted by scriptural silence - we extrapolated from other sources and from old traditions, made guesses and even read-in our own thoughts shaped by our own time and place. 

    In a sense, we did what preachers always do, even when there is no obvious silence - we padded out bland descriptions with colourful details in our attmept to discover the truth hidden within.

    I've certainly enjoyed thinking about the stories, and about about the gaps, and what any of it may have to say to us. I also think that God's Spirit inspired at least some of it - especially as today's intercessory prayers had an unusually high 'hmmm' count!

  • And Relax...

    It's been a long week, and I have one task still to complete today - then it will be time to relax for a while.

    Outside the sky is blue, the air is crisp and cold, and it's good to be alive.

    Over the past few weeks we've journeyed with Jesus as he grew up, and it's been fun (for me anyway) to imagine what might have plugged the gaps of scriptural silence.  Another silence is what he did (other than pray) when he took time apart to rest and be refreshed... like him, I'm going to take some time (tomorrow is my official rest day) simply to 'be'...

    A busy, busy week, and I did more than OK, so now it's time to relax...