South Atlantic District

Ministry Context and Professional Development

Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2016

“Good Cops are made by the people they police.” That is the statement that caught my attention.  The fact that I have a couple of close family members in Law Enforcement and the extreme scrutiny placed on the police by the news media has sensitized me to comments made by and about the nation’s peace officers.

But that is not why I reference this particular statement. This assertion is particularly interesting in light of the extensive background checks, academic preparation, and ongoing training that police officers undergo.  In spite of having all this preparation and on-the-job training, it is asserted that the context of their work is what develops them.  It is the people with whom they work and interact that makes them “good” at their craft.

It seems to me that there are obvious implications for us who minister to people as peace officers of a different sort, representatives of the Prince of Peace.  Ministers of the Gospel too are subject to rigorous background checks, academic preparation, and on-the-job training (including our MEG gatherings) designed to qualify us for licensed ministry by our Church, the Christian & Missionary Alliance.

I have observed the serious approach most of us take to sharpen our skills by taking continuing education training of various sorts, designed to help us maintain a high level of ministry capacity, in our areas of responsibility.   Academic pursuits and skill development are necessary and helpful.  But, along-side these is the equally important need to develop healthy spiritual disciplines - attitudes of the mind and behaviors of the soul. 

As I reflect on decades of conversations with Pastors and ministry workers, I note that there is often discussion of the difficulty and dysfunctions, being experienced by the Minister, in the current ministry context.  Indeed, we live in a fallen world, sin is pervasive in its impact and there is brokenness in every ministry environment.  We’ve all gone there in our conversations about ministry.

Consider this proposal.  If, ‘good ministers are made by the people they minister to,’ then the difficult situations and circumstances in which we minister may actually be a significant blessing from the Chief Shepherd. Could it be that He intends to assist His Shepherds in their personal and professional development, through the people whom we shepherd? Our current ministry context is shaping us into a fitting representative of the Prince of Peace. The (sometimes difficult) people with whom we work, have the potential to make us into “good ministers!” 

The next time you start to lament your ministry context, try a little spiritual judo and thank the Lord for how He is using this flock to make you into the “good minister” He has in mind!


I am happy to announce that the DEXCOM has approved the appointment of Rev. Bill Jewell to the South Atlantic District Ministry Center Team. Bill assumes the role of Assistant to the District Superintendent for Operations in mid-July. Bill has served as Pastor of the Crossview Alliance Church in Fayetteville, NC for 13 years.   Bill has extensive experience in the business world as well as in the Pastorate.  He has also served in recent years as the MEG facilitator for the Coastal Region. His wife Laura is the most recent Director of the Great Commission Women of the South Atlantic District. We welcome them to the team as they move 100 miles west to the Charlotte area.

In addition, I am happy to announce that DEXCOM has approved Rev. Samuel McGarvey to serve as District Moderator of the LO&CC. Sam is a member of the current LO&CC and has also served on the LO&CC in another district.  Sam is the Lead Pastor at North Ridge Church in Raleigh, a role which he will continue. Sam’s track record in developing young leaders and his extensive ministry experience have equipped him well to serve the district in this role. Sam assumed this assignment June 1. We welcome Sam and wife Deborah to this new appointment.