Friday, January 13, 2006


He sat quietly for a few moments, swirling the dark ale in his glass, thinking unheard thoughts before answering my question.

"Twenty years," he finally announces, placing his glass gently but firmly back on the table in the pub.

I did a double-take, my own ale momentarily forgotten. "Twenty years?" I finally managed to say, unable to hide my surprise and incredulity.

"Yeah, hard to believe, eh?" He responded, leaning forward and taking another hearty sip of his drink. "It's been twenty years since I was last in full-time ministry."

"How do you process that?" I asked, "Do you feel like you've lost something, did times just change, or do you just look at 'ministry' in a different way now?"

He and his wife exchanged looks. "All of the above," he replied. "I think something was lost, something which I'd love to get back. Times have changed, churches have changed, society's changed. And I guess we look at ministry differently, but let me tell you something..."

He leaned forward to emphasize what he was saying. "When we talked about our life dreams a few weeks ago at our home group, we were the only ones who had dreams of full-time ministry. Our group is awesome; very godly people. But we were the only ones with ministry-oriented dreams."

He leaned back into his chair, fingering the tankard of ale, the food on the table now cold and forgotten. "I guess I still dare to dream."

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