Grace Institute News

May 15, 2013 


when all else fails...

When I was a student pastor many years ago, I was struggling. Trying to find a link between what I was learning in the classroom of seminary and effective preaching and looking for a way to spark the overall ministry, I was wondering whether I was in the right profession. About 1 1/2 years into my training, I remembered a note that had been left on my desk that was apparently too big to fit on the previous student's U-Haul when he moved. I had dismissed it as a nice sentiment at the time, but upon reflection it hit me like an answer to prayer... "When all else fails- love them." I had been trying to do ministry as a skill set and using techniques. But I hadn't really learned about the lives of the people in my congregation. I hadn't loved them. Once I ingested that idea, everything turned around. That desire shaped my preaching, teaching and pastoral care. 


Even after many years in ministry, it is easy to slip into ministry being a set of tasks and presentations. I am reminded of the warning given to the church at Ephesus in Revelation that they were doing a lot of things right, but they had "forgotten their first love." When we allow both our love of Christ and of the people to take a back seat to all the other things ministry can become, it will wind up tasting like stale toast. If you feel like things have gotten stale where you are serving and are wondering whether you are where you need to be, remember: when all else fails...

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an apology

Please accept our apologies for the break in our weekly newsletters. We have been focused on caring for our youngest daughter, who is struggling with a serious health issue. We will do our best to bring you timely and current information, but please bear with us if we miss a week or two. Thanks for your understanding (and any prayers you can offer in her behalf).

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Michelle Jenks

Grace Institute