Two articles from two brothers.

Now that I’ve been a Howie for close to a year and I’m definitely out of the honeymoon phase I feel more comfortable comparing my old job with my new one. I am 100% convinced that it was the right time to finish at Anglicare and work at something other than research. However I realised recently that the change in work has meant that I don’t write very much anymore. This has made me really happy on one hand, and really sad on the other. I don’t miss writing research papers, reports and briefings. But all that writing put me in a good and reflective headspace, a place where I would think, and read, and reflect, and then write. I don’t get many opportunities to write now. Mainly I think, and read, and reflect, and then speak. It’s different. I miss writing. I wonder whether my relative silence on livejournal this year is connected?

Of course student ministry shouldn’t necessarily stop me from writing. Lots of fellow Howies have blogs, and lots of fellow Howies have made time to read, reflect and write. Praise God for them. Here are two great articles my colleagues have written recently:

Richard wrote this article on humility and power in the context of university ministry. I found it pretty confronting. It’s a huge challenge to the way I think about my own work.

“The desire for power is at the heart of sin: Adam and Eve’s temptation was to take hold of the power to define good and evil (Genesis 3). The temptation facing students at the University of Sydney is one and the same: it is the temptation to think we can remake the world in our own image. It is easy to be blind to this temptation for many university students on my campus because they often come from the upper echelons of Sydney society, have significant family wealth, or have graduated from a highly respected school. In addition, many come from churches that are almost exclusively populated by upper-middle class Anglo-Saxon professionals, thus completing the illusion that there is no real tension between the humility of Christian witness and the way we wealthy Westerners lead our lives.”

Brian wrote this article about the impact of student ministry on an introvert. It’s one of the most uplifting pieces on personality and ministry that I’ve ever read.

“Do I get drained by all the social interaction?
Yes. But not as much as I used to be.
Do I sometimes withdraw and act like a hermit?
Yes. But not as much as I used to.
Am I socially awkward and shy?
I AM SO AWKWARD. But I think I’m better than I used to be.
Am I still an introvert?
By golly, yes!”

I feel like I’ve been learning so much this year, and thinking deeply about many things. I have read and thought more about the doctrine of the Trinity than ever before. I’ve dived deep into the book of James through multiple sermon series and bible studies. I’ve been thinking hard about ethics, public Christianity, popular culture, presentation of the self and how university ministry intersects with it all. I’ve been dreaming about leadership models and pastoral skills. I feel like all these ideas are too complex and interconnected for to easily spin into blog posts. But they’re not, really. I think I just have to keep working at my writing.

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