Am I a Pastor? Isaiah 40:29,31
He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.’ Isaiah 40:29,31
I am a very impatient, if I have an idea I like to get onto it immediately; I don’t like wasting time. I work out plans, resourcing is sorted (who will do what and how?) and then I start hassling people till it’s done! Which is why this amazing Isaiah reading is so challenging: there are times when I need to wait for the Lord. Nearly a year ago I was ordained as a Priest, which was a calling I received 16 years prior at the age of 20 – it took 16 years for the calling to be fulfilled!
I had it all worked out, theology training, ordination, and pastoring a church by 24. But it all fell apart only 6 months prior to ordination.. I simply couldn’t handle the study load and the practical expectations, so I quit. And I can now see that I needed those 16 years to build my strength and power and now these days I am more ready to fulfil God’s calling as a Priest.
And part of what God has revealed to me is that though my calling maybe to be a pastor, the outworking of my calling isn’t to pastor a local church. Over the past 16 years God has been equipping me and strengthening me for a different environment completely.
And I can now see that God is calling me to be a pastor online, through my Journey Deeper into God’s Word blog and The Bible page on Facebook I am proclaiming the Word, through the Praying People page on Facebook and my interactions with people via chat and email I am able to care for people, and encourage them in their faith.
And several years ago I planted a church in the virtual world of Second Life, known as the Anglican Cathedral of Second Life (for info see: http://slangcath.wordpress.com/) which though I have now retired from active involvement, offers several services each week within the virtual setting online.
So my calling to being a Priest is to the online setting. And it was only through waiting in the Lord that this was made clear. I praise God for the way He is working in my life and revealing His will for me through His Word!
Rev Mark Brown
PS Zondervan have just published a book called SimChurch: Being the Church in the Virtual World by Douglas Estes. If you are interested in online church as an idea, this is a very cool book. Plus I feature in it!!!
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To order a copy see: http://www.amazon.com/SimChurch-Being-Church-Virtual-World/dp/0310287847