Interesting Stuff Here!
There are some very interesting conversations going on about the ministry and its theological street cred or lack thereof. You can find it (if you haven't already) over at Philocrites, PeaceBang, and ChaliceBlog. They raise some interesting questions about how congregations "do theology" and the role of the minister in that discussion.
This has all been great fertilizer in the garden of thought for me. I have posted at a couple of these sites already so I won't discuss those issues here. However, I have, once again, begun to wonder how the mainline churches can continue to attract smart, creative, and talented individuals into the ministry at a time when there are so many other options. I have a great many friends who would have made great ministers. They are warm people who care about others. They are bright and articulate, even scholarly. They are also doctors and lawyers. This is not to say that those of us who have made a committment to the church are necessarily second-rate. I, however, would like to see the ministry become the "first choice" more often and for more people.
Are their societal pressures? Financial ones? Of course there are. What are the benfits to a life of service in a religious context? What does the "order" do for us? These are questions I ask myself often because, at the heart of things, I am basically an institutionalist and would like to see the institution of the ministry grow and attract more of the very best and very brightest (a group in which I do NOT include myself, by the way). Anyway, no answers today, just questions....