Archives For Benjamin Kane

Brian_Blount-1Ministry is a journey, but one not meant to be walked alone.  As we start blogging again, the members of the Masterin’ the Pastorin’ blog decided to solicit the wisdom of other Presbyterian pastors who’ve walked the journey of ministry.  We asked different folks the same set of questions and over the course of the next couple of weeks we’ll share her/his answers.  Today you can read the wisdom of Rev. Dr. Brian Blount, President of Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA who graciously offered to answer our questions.

  • What was a memorable moment in your first year of ministry? Realizing that just spending time with people, especially when someone just dropped over to my office to chat, wasn’t distracting me from my work, but that this was my work!
  • What was some helpful advice you were once given? The advice I think we give each other now. Make sure to provide time for yourself. Schedule it as if you were scheduling an obligation for work, so you know you’ll keep it.
  • How did you (or didn’t you) feel seminary prepared you for ministry? I was well prepared academically to do biblical studies and theology and to use church history and practical theology. But I was not prepared for the practical aspects of ministry like doing administration or performing weddings or funerals or celebrating the Eucharist. Those were things I fortunately was able to learn on my own quickly and through conversations with colleagues who had been in the ministry longer, and from remembering how such things were done in my growing up in my home church. As a solo pastor, I didn’t have the ability to learn from a senior pastor.
  • When was the first time you questioned going into the ministry?

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Photo Sep 27, 11 19 23 AMAs the pastor of Howard Memorial I’m the new guy in Tarboro, NC; with that comes a constant refrain folks share with me: I’m young.   Two statements, spoken often, encapsulate this reality: “I heard you were young, but I didn’t realize you were a baby!” or “You look like you are still a teenager.”  As I sit here writing I’m realizing they are both wrong; I’m actually a toddler.  Let me explain.

My wife and I are rearing a two-year old and we spend time reading about childhood development.  The stages of childhood are infant, toddler, school age, and teenager; every parent (or person who’s been around young people) doesn’t need a website to explain to them that each stage represents distinct emotional, physical, social and behavioral nuances.  As my wife and I wake up each day to the ever-changing-ness of a two-year old while I continue to experience life as a new pastor in a new context I’m realizing that pastors live through similar stages to those of childhood development.  Thus why I’d call myself a toddler. Continue Reading…

Asking For Direction(s)

Benjamin Kane —  September 5, 2014

Photo Sep 27, 11 19 23 AMThe premise of this post is that we are all broken individual in need of care.  In my opinion we fail to mention the need for spiritual and emotional care as often as we call for care of our physical bodies.   Another reason for this post is that for some reason pastors seem to neglect themselves.  Not only do we neglect our physical bodies by saying our Lord or our parishioners or our families need us more than we need ourselves, we trample upon our spiritual and emotional health using the same excuses.   Sometimes we change the language and say, “God is first, our family is second and we are a distant third.”  Yes, our Lord does need and so do our parishioners; and yes, that is a good mantra to live by, but I’m afraid if we perpetuate those sentiments we’ll continue to perpetuate unhealthy ministers leading churches.

My proposal is that we pastors find a spiritual director or counselor.  What we do on a daily basis requires much of our physical, emotion and spiritual bodies.  We are called to be theologians, pastors, accountants, lawyers, human resource directors, preachers, spouses, children, parents and siblings.  So we immerse ourselves in scripture and read theology to prepare for worship and small groups; we sit with folks contemplating monumental life decisions; we pray with folks as they contemplate the unknown; and we go home and live as spouses, parents, siblings and a few other unnamed roles.  (I’m worn out just reading that list above.) Continue Reading…