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On the folly of rewarding A while hoping for B by Steven Kerr

I said I am getting the research groove back.  It may seem unusual then I suppose to post a link to this article except if you read it and then start to think about it.

What is it in church life we reward?  How much of long term hard yakka discipleship is rewarded or do we prefer to see those who can grow something quickly but with no consideration of the cost?  Or the quality of those disciples.

I said recently to a friend our effectiveness in discipleship is not how many disciples we have made but how many disciples they have made.  Most of the amazing quality overnight successes I know of had 20 years behind them in the wilderness, working quietly, doing what they were supposed to and then becoming known.

Consider it.

This week classes start and I figured I need to get on the computer and get everything up and online that I need.

Now if I can just find it all.

This semester I have picked up some staff, an intern, more work, more responsibilities and less sleep due to my super son waking up too much in the middle of the night.

So this week will be regular introduction to units, writing lectures and dealing with last minute admin.

Such is life.

I think I have told the story of working for one university and one of my co-workers suggesting the idea would the structure of the department change to meet the requirements or would everything remain the same?  I have looked more recently on the web for that institution and that department.  Things are dramatically different today.

My workplace has grown over the last couple of years and as often happens there is an annual adjustment of roles.  This year though the change was quite dramatic as roles previously taken by two people were split between four people as the work has just increased that much.  I have a new title with the word Director in it and somehow picked up some staff to look after.

I moved into an office which I share with someone rather than be in an open plan area as I have (re)grown used to over the last year.  There are days I like either one more than the other.  Time will tell which is better overall.

This is all good stuff but it may explain why some of my blog entries are a bit more sporadic until things get back into routine.

For those who know Biblical Greek or think they should this YouTube movie is for you.  Thanks Jay Merrick at Theology Forum.

Our graduation was last Monday.  This is why I have been a bit quiet lately as I needed to work on a few things for the graduation.

Anyway it was a great graduation.  Congratulations to all who have made it through and those who will yet return to do further studies with us at different levels.

So many things made this a great graduation for me.  In no particular order they are:

  • First one at a new institution
  • Getting to read out names of some of the graduands
  • Great sermon for the students
  • Great faculty that I work with
  • Just about everything went off without a hitch
  • Meeting student’s families
  • Avoiding being in any photos
  • Great support from all involved

So I look forward to seeing more people graduate over the next years.

There is both a delight and a sadness in marking.  Delight when it is obvious someone has learnt.  Sadness when they have not.

I am in the midst of this rollercoaster ride as I get towards the end of my marking.

Oh well better get back to it.

Today is my first student free day for the rest of the year.

I have a love/hate relationship with these sort of days as it usually means:

1) No students are around

2) I have marking to do

3) I can find other work to do

4) I have projects to works on

5) I can remember other things I want to work on (planning) when I shoudl be marking

6) I get depressed at reading bad assignments.

7) I think about writing more on this blog

So that’s my day

Tonight I am lecturing my last class for semester.  Funnily enough one of the issues I want to raise at the end of class is the end of creation.   That is why this post is titled the end at the end.

Pentecostalism is historically described as a millenial movement and while that may be true for aspects of its early days in America it may not be so true now globally.

So why do we talk about the end so much in theology?  Is it because we want the end to come?  Is it because we want hope? Is it because we are bored now?

Tonight I will be presenting that how we see the future affects how we live and that is why we talk about it.  The future impacts our present.  I’ll be interested to see how it will go.

So how does the future impacting the present affect your life?

It continues to amaze my students, and to some extent me, how much the Spirit of God can speak through the Bible and through preaching.  I find even writing this blog seems to have some impact on people as God seems to speak to them through their reading of it.

The question I want to think about today is not if the Spirit speaks of Jesus through sermons, the Bible and blogs, but what sort of speaking do we hear?

You see I heard a powerful sermon on Saturday on issues of social justice.  Numerous people I know are making different choices because of what they heard.  Is this going to be lasting change?  I am not sure yet.  But even my four and a half year old super son this morning was told by my wonderful wife there are people in the world today who went to bed hungry and woke up hungry and therefore we were not wasting their money on us eating out tonight.  This is a different response to the usual, no we are not doing it.

The speaking of God to us is not so much about a word that is new and fresh to us, though these do occur occasionally, but a word that reminds us of his Son and how we are to be like Him in the midst of living our lives.

Yesterday I mentioned turmoil, tumult is also a good word.  In no way was it supposed to be a reflection of the governments comments on Victoria University though it captures that issue well. A prophetic word?  No just learning to be wise like Jesus is.

The Spirit speaks of Jesus, are you listening?

I have been in a few colleges that have had turmoil for a season.  I will remember to this day, from many years back, one of my co-workers saying “Do we have a commitment that the changes we make to the course, which will regroup staff will be worked out regardless of current structure?”  The room was dumbfounded and yet generally supportive especially as we saw the fact that some of the least liked staff would all be sharing a common room.

Change is common in academia.  At the moment in Victoria numerous universities are downsizing.  I am glad I am not working for them.  Some of the turmoil is change of direction, things like the Bradley review have people nervous hoping that better things will come.

In the end as in any job there are days that have more turmoil than not.  Today has been turmoil for me.

So what’s your day been like?