Most ministers have probably been asked what they spend their week doing! This blog by the minister of the International Presbyterian Church in Ealing helps shed some light on the question. The review below was written by Stephen for the latest issue of the Messenger magazine. You can sign up on the website to receive digital copies of the magazine for free, or speak to Stephen if you'd like to subscribe to the print edition (£8 per year).
Blog Review: A year in the life of a minister
Have you ever wondered what a minister does all week? This blog, by a Welsh minister, with a Northern Irish wife, pastoring a church in London, helps shed light on that question. The author, Paul Levy, has been minister of the International Presbyterian Church in Ealing (where former Messenger columnist Robert Cromie now attends) since 2003.
Levy started the blog on the first of September and writes every day. This isn’t just a highlights reel – Levy writes about the good, the bad and the mundane. He writes about the days he feels his sermons fell flat, or he wasted a morning or he missed an opportunity to speak about Jesus. He recounts Session meetings, Presbytery meetings, 5-a-side football and meeting up with friends. Levy writes about what it’s like to parent a toddler with Down’s Syndrome, and the account of him and his wife watching the recent BBC documentary on it is especially touching. He’s also involved in a couple of church plants, and the excitement of being involved in a growing denomination comes across.
The blog isn’t earth-shattering or glamorous, but it’s real and it’s honest. Some entries are boring and nondescript, but that’s real life. Whether you’re an ordinary church member or considering the ministry yourself, reading some of the entries will leave you more informed about what day-to-day ministry looks like.
Of course, most of us aren’t living and working in London, so there will be elements we can’t identify with. Levy himself says: ‘I often think how blessed we are to live in a place where there is lots of movement of people and so we have people who move to the church’. And yet whether our churches are in London or Limavady or Leipzig, we find again and again that as Christians we have far more in common than what divides us.
The old joke says that ministers are invisible six days a week and incomprehensible on the seventh; this blog makes the life of a minister a little more visible.