I have a number of posts started – but haven’t had time to finish them. I’d been hoping to get that done this week, but I had district meetings. I am a Circuit Visitor, and our biennial meeting was this week at the home office in Casper.
Topics covered included: Scripture, the Confessions (specifically SA II:ii), The doctrine of the Word, the Creation, Order in the church, a proper and historic understanding of the role of bishops and visitation in the church (a practice dating back to the apostles), the role of the shepherd in protecting his flock from threats spiritual and physical, and many other minor things. (We cover a lot in a very short period. It’s an intense workday).
I mention all of that, only to note (by way of thanks) a couple of words that did not show up, not even once: PIF (Pastor’s Information Form) and SET (Self Evaluation Tool) were never even mentioned.
There are places in the church where the focus is not on busywork, but on the Word of God and the Work of Christ, and on applying that precious balm to the people and pastors of the church in a God-pleasing way. I am blessed to be in one of those corners of the church, and to serve in a District which insists her president approach things that way. Thankfully, we have a president who also insists on that very thing from the other district officers.
Such has not always been the case. I’ve been in places (my call-day sermon, for example) where the Word of God received scant mention. (We were told that success in ministry was about regularly updating the PIF and SET.)
I will admit to a bit of confusion at times. In our conversation there were a few moments where I had to be reminded as we studied that, if we understand the task theologically, according to the Gospel, then what we were reading made sense. If we understand it according to the Law and world’s method of doing things, then of course it will just be a disaster. Because that has not always been the case, I am sometimes skeptical that everyone has that intent in their writing. But that sort of confusion is not a bad problem to have.
It’s really a wonderful place to labor in the kingdom. Although it is no credit to me. There are generations of faithful congregations, pastors, and district presidents behind all of this. Even before I was born, the district was committed to faithful doctrine and practice. For over a generation, there has been diligent visitation. I inherited a good situation. My task is to continue to minister faithfully. And surrounded by CV’s VP’s and a DP who are also committed to that, it makes the task that much easier.
I’m feeling pretty blessed today. The church has challenges. But in my little corner, on this snowy and blowy morning, it’s all gravy.