Reflecting on some of my previous musings, and indeed on the various settings where they have been written (train journeys, waiting in the car in the midst of ferrying either of the children somewhere) I am reminded that by choice I am not a desk person. Indeed the only advantage to having my desk in my study in the Rectory is that it means I can be quite often (and thankfully) disturbed whereby I am called out by folk in the church building who need my attention. It has been said that there are 2 different types of people, those who are task focussed, and those who are people focussed. If my own desk habits suggest anything, I’m pretty sure I fall into the latter category.
Last Sunday at church, we spend time looking at the ministry of Barnabas as recorded in the book of Acts, so named as he was viewed as a “son of enouragement:” We observed how he sought to arrange financial collections for struggling church communities, vouched for the potential ministry of recent convert Saul/Paul, as well as leading a church in Antioch, and accompanying Paul in one of the first missionary journeys. We also noted how this mission partnership then ended with a bit of a row between Paul and Barnabas when contemplating a further missionary venture.
Barnabas was keen to involve once again a young Christian called Mark (possibly his cousin), despite him letting them down previously on an earlier trip. Paul was against this and so they separated, Paul and Silas setting out in Europe, with Barnabas and Mark revisiting and ministering to Cyprus. Was it the case, we pondered, that Paul perhaps was more task focussed - keen to see through a project whatever the cost, whereas Barnabas was more person focussed, with the personal impact and blessings that an individual might experience taking priority over any project outcomes? Of course this side of heaven we’ll never know, but as a minister for more than a few years now, it seems to me that we need a mixture of the two, ensuring that any activity we undertake, matches the passions and skills of all involved in it.