B.A.P. – the return. Or what I found helpful to know

I meant to post this a while back but now is as good as time as any.  I’m not saying that the following is the magic formula for getting through a BAP as there is no such thing. Let me repeat that. There is NO magic formula or RIGHT answers.  IF you think there are then your already barking up the wrong tree and you definitely will not get through.

So things I found useful to know:

  • Missio Dei – God is the root of all mission because if He hadn’t sent His son, we would not know about Him as fully as we do so now.  This leads to:-
  • The Five marks of Mission- Read them here and memorise (not to show off but to base your thinking on).
  • Pastoral letter: State confidentiality (yes obvious but your showing them you know).  Use a quote from the Bible that connects with subject.
  • Attend all worship.
  • Know what the Lectionary is.
  • Know the roles of Bishop, priest and deacon are.  This here by Father Heard is a good post on deacons and priests
  • Read the ordination services for both priest and deacon.  Think about what ‘speaks’ to you and why.  Quote it.
  • Think about what kind of leader you will be, what kind of  leader Christ is (was?! lol).
  • Don’t worry about quoting from books.
  • Don’t worry you wont remember all the good stuff you’ve read and thought about.  You are imbued with it all.

I may add more as I remember more but just getting it out of my head as 3months later I’m still thinking about it!  It took me a month to recover from the BAP and the result! So be good to yourself.

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Bishop Advisory Panel Thoughts BAP

I nearly titled this post How to get through a BAP but on second thoughts I think that would have been silly. The BAP selection conference is not about getting through however much one may feel geared up to do so. In fact, and I guess as I have been selected it is easy to say so, going to the conference with an attitude of wanting to get through is most likely detrimental to the process. I say this because, above all, the process taught me that old chestnut of relying on His strength and not ours is actually very key. Way before the BAP I realised i could not (and should not ) get through the conference in my own power and ability. So however much I read and experienced the church, it did not count for anything until my relationship with God was sorted.

So, if you think you’re called to the priesthood, get yourself right with Jesus first because only by Him can you truly serve. The rest ( church trad, theology etc) will then fall into place.

Listening to God

Moby Dick

Moby Dick

All last week I have awoken at 4am for no apparent reason which has been quite annoying really especially when I wear ear plugs and have a completley blacked out room. A friend of mine (after saying I should know better) thought God was trying to tell me something aka Samuel stylee.  I didn’t think this was the case and besides, God speaks to me in other ways but not directly. Plus I am fairly sure She wouldn’t want to tick me off by depriving me of sleep.

Yesterday, in a completly seemingly unrelated incident, and for no apparent reason, I decided to ask a daft question to one of the US’s most popular evanglicals Frank Viola. Frank in his tweets said  “God’s people are in a spiritual warfare, but many of them r too busy shooting at their fellow soldiers to fight the real enemy.”.. so I tweeted back “There’s an enemy? Description required please?”  A bit childish I know but I do dislike this thought about evil being personified.  Anyhoo, Frank actually replied with “see Ephesians 6”. Which is Paul going on about putting on the armour of God to empower ourselves again the enemy. Sounds very warlike don’t you think? Not very love , kindness and peace of Christ kinda thing eh?!.   So after being Gob smacked he actually replied I went off to sleep muttering something stereotypical about americans needing their enemies, and trying to remember the title of the story about the hunter and the whale.

So in a dream I heard myself saying “You mean Jonah and the Whale”. The word Jonah was said several times until I finally woke myself up at 5am (which was 4am in pre BST) with the words “NO I MEAN Moby Dick!”  Satisified I had finally answered my initial problem about what the title of the book was, I went back to sleep.
The surprise moment of syncronicty happened when I woke up properly to get ready for work. I checked my emails on my ipod and there was the daily bible reading email from The Word Live.  The Bible reading for today was Jonah 1:1-17 titled ‘Dont run away, Pray’.  Which startled me still as I had been thinking of whether I should stay in the C of E.

Then later in the day someone else emailed me and said “Stick with the CofE as they need you” and they knew nothing of my Jonah moment.!

Jonah and the Whale

Jonah and the Whale

So, in the story of Jonah, this guy hears God and runs away in fear. He ends up being swallowed by a whale and in the stomach is transformed.  I guess there’s hope for me yet! I’ll just avoid the sea for a few months….
Oh and perhaps God really was trying to tell me something at 4am in the morning. I hope He’s done now!

DDO upcoming meeting

I’m on holiday under canvas. Outside is blowing a storm with torental rain. Yet I am happy!

I got an email today from my DDO inviting me to see them on the 12th of August. Hopefully we will talk about a placement where I can experience leadership in a church. I also wonder if I will be given the go ahead to attend another BAP in June or if it has been decided I should wait the 2 yrs.

Still, I have renewed excitement about being called and caring for a parish. This must be a good sign.

Reading and listening to Christians has been very exciting and helpful too!