One day I’m going to teach a pastoral theology course, and I’m going to emphasize the importance of having a philosophy of ministry. It’s too confusing to make it up as you go. You end up catching fads rather than living out a thoughtful philosophy that’s marked by maturity and wisdom. The past few years have been painful ones for me. My philosophy of ministry has undergone a radical change. It’s hard to change when you’re in the middle of pastoring – kind of like switching cars while driving. I’ve suffered, and I think the church has suffered as well. It’s been hard, I’m glad I’ve been through this process. I realize you can’t teach a philosophy of ministry in the classroom. Some things can only be learned, slowly, with the passage of time. I have also been learning a lot about my own leadership strengths and weaknesses. Part of learning is finding out where we’re weak. I had no idea about parts of who I am until very recently. As Parker Palmer says, another part of maturity is coming to embrace our weaknesses, to learn to accept them as much as our strengths. Maybe that’s a different way of saying, “Be humble.” Bottom line: I feel like I have emerged from a period of switching, and I can’t wait to start a new ministry year in September. In fact, I’m having a hard time waiting for things to kick off. Good thing I have to wait, because I still need to get completely ready. But it’s time, and I’m excited. I will be reporting as honestly as I can what’s happening this year we get going. I’d also appreciate your prayers. I see what Richview has been and what it can be and I’m excited, and I don’t want to blow the opportunity that’s before me at this moment. More to come on this journey.