It was a great privilege yesterday to spend time with a whole lot of friends who shared in my induction as the new Team Leader at Maida Vale Baptist Church. Thanks for supporting me in this way.
I was reflecting on the title of Team Leader. It seems a bit less spiritual than the traditional term, Pastor, but somehow I think it acknowledges 21st Australian culture a little better than a word that originates with the first century Middle-Eastern idea of sheep-herding.
Pastoring, or shepherding in the first century involved working with small herds of sheep, sleeping out on the hills to look after them and making sure they weren’t spooked by foxes. In Australian society I think of shepherding quite differently and the idea of running a mob of sheep across hundreds of hectares of dry paddock, occasionally driven together by a helicopter for shearing, is not the picture I have of a pastor.
I think I would prefer to see myself as the leader of a team of people who are trying to find their way through the realities of life, and in that journey discover Jesus.
I’d like to see myself as the leader of a team of people who have discovered that Jesus provides the resources they need to navigate life and are learning how to put those resources into action every day.
I’d like to see myself as the leader of a team of people who are making a difference in their local community and the world, as we walk together in company with Jesus.
But it doesn’t matter if you see yourself as part of a flock or a team, I’m looking forward to having you join me on this new adventure together.