Wednesday, November 07, 2007


There are moments when I want to resign.
I work in a small corner of a large religious institution that is run inefficiently, by people who have very little integrity. The things that drive this national institution are political correctness (ensuring that every committee has enough black people/women/ not gay people), naked ambition for power, greed , and old boy’s (male) networks.

And I mostly live with the junk because I believe that God has called me to be here.
But recent experiences have demoralized me:
- bureaucratic inattention closed down a training programme I loved and which gave my life meaning and purpose.
- I have been given administrative supervision that I really hate.
- My work load has been increased, with a reduction of staff to do it.

But I came across this cartoon which both challenged me, and got me over my self-pity.
So I look in the mirror and ask myself: “Whose career path do you think you are following?”
And I realise that I love the local church where I work. It is a community of caring people who often affirm me and thank me for the things I do. I work alongside local church leaders who are all that the national leaders are not. And I am reminded that the authentic church is local.

And I sense that my capacity to rise to new challenges in life is beginning to reassert itself.
Watch this space! (and keep praying for me).


Gus said...

Hey Pete,

When I was thinking of candidating you reminded me that the church gave me a little ready made mission field in which to work - and that was the most important thing. I appreciate that perspective... the people we work with 'on the ground' are what make it worthwhile - the Kingdom is definitely among them.

God Bless,

Deacon Sue said...

ambivalent feelings about this one Pete....part of me wants to give you a hug and yet part of me wants to say 'what did you expect?' The church is a sinful organisation full of sinful people, the vast majority of whom, I believe,are giving their authentic best to God -local and beyond...yet, we foul up because of a failure to really understand the nature of sin as a fracture in our relationship with either God, with others or with ourselves.
I have your name on the palm of my hand...

digitaldion (Dion Forster) said...

When I resigned from our Church just over a year ago you were one of those who helped me to return... You reminded me of those all important elements of call and Christ. I am very often grateful for that.

Stay with us Pete. We need you more than you know.

However, the truth I discover constantly is that the Church is no reason to stay in ministry - it is the wrong reason to enter and also the wrong reason to exit.

All for Jesus, and the people who Jesus loves.

You're a gift!


Now, stop blogging and finish that doctorate!!!!!!!

Arthur said...

Hey Pete! This is a thought-provoking post. People who know me well in ministry know that I have little time for internal politics, self-boosting of egos, power-trips and all the other trappings of corporate religion.

Even though I now move back into education I am aware that every field of endeavour carries with it people who seek to use institutions to create their own mini-kingdoms and who desire nothing more than looking good in front of their peers.

I guess the reality is that no matter where we serve the world, it is through reminding ourselves of the call Christ placed on our lives and the price He paid for us that keeps us moving forward.

I have also learnt that our unease with the large institution can sometimes be the catalyst which allows the process of change to begin - not necessarily an easy road but a necessary one.

Thank-you for your honesty in this post. I believe your thoughts are echoed in the hearts and minds of many of our clergy across the country. Thank-you for expressing yourself so well.