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What’s in a Title?

kthompson January 18, 2010

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What’s in a title?  Over the years of our lives, we are labeled variously–son, daughter, student, young-married, median adult (whatever that means), parent, grandparent.  Recently, I’ve picked up titles and traded them for new ones like used cars.  When I entered Dallas Seminary , I became a “seminarian.”  When I graduated, I became an alum (alumnus…alumni…?).  Soon after that, I entered vocational ministry and became a bi-vocational pastor/associate pastor/minister of missions.  Then, I moved on to “minister to adults,” and eventually upon ordination, picked up “Reverend.”  Throughout all of that time (since 1994), I’ve managed to keep “software developer” in my pocket, as well.  I’ve gone from son (38 years now), to husband, to father (x 4).  Still a long way from grandfather, though (prayerfully!!).  Beyond that, I’m sure there are lots of other labels that have been assigned to me over the years that I don’t want to know about, but let’s not go there….

Now, I have aspired to “community evangelist.”  Not sure if that’s a new one or not?  I’d like to believe I’ve been a community evangelist, on some level anyway, since I came to faith in Jesus Christ.  Still, it certainly has a new twist.  I’ve been charged with sharing ideas and topics of interest regarding ministry  and creating opportunities for related discussion.  Hmmm…not sure I’m up to the task, but I do commit to share what I can, to the best of my ability, and to try to keep it interesting.

At this point, I need to insert a disclaimer.  While I enjoy technology/software development and while I love working for ACS (it really is a great company), my passion is Jesus Christ!  Christian ministry is not a secular or an empirical pursuit, it’s spiritual.  If it ceases to be spiritual, I believe it ceases to be ministry and becomes “community service.”  True Christian ministry that honors God flows out of a heart overflowing with God Himself (John 7:37-39), so my prayer is that the words written here will never enter the realm of pontification, devoid of true spiritual depth.  As A.W. Tozer writes in The Pursuit of God, “We are today overrun with orthodox scribes, but the prophets, where are they?  The hard voice of the scribe sounds over evangelicalism, but the Church waits for the tender voice of the saint who has penetrated the veil and has gazed with inward eye upon the Wonder that is God.”  While we continue to leverage new technology and encourage the dissemination of ideas and strategies, let us never get away from the missio Dei (God’s mission).  This is His work not ours, and we only participate effectively to the extent that we participate in Him.  That being said, onward and upward!

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