Hiding Behind Daddy

Lots of things are happening at the moment. I’ve been asked to adapt the last blog for the Fresh Expressions website ‘Share’, which is very flattering that someone has enjoyed my, often waffly, ramblings, others have been commenting on my blog and saying how exciting the ideas are, I’ve also been asked if I could go and speak to a parish in York about my theatre and ministry work. I am feeling very excited about what God is doing and where he is leading me but I’m also being hit by an equally powerful wave of inadequacy for it all.

People have been complimentary of the content of my writing but there are people out there who are doing work that surpasses mine… I haven’t even started the work yet. I’ve commented on how I see the church and the theatre and the relationship between the two but I have not got the experience of, say Paul Burbridge of Riding Lights, or Rob Gillion who is a vicar in South West London, or countless other Christian theatre practitioners who go out and do it.

It makes me question what I’m actually doing. Am I pushing myself forward for recognition?


Am I imagining myself higher than I actually am?


Why am I feeling like this? I think its natural to question your motives. I think its healthy to do so.

I’m currently adapting the blog into a fully worked out document and have decided to go back and type up journal entries for the beginning of my time at Cranmer Hall. This has meant that I’ve been re-reading my journey. It’s a fascinating process and has made me see God working, prompting, leading me on a beautifully crafted story. At times I have seen myself shaping the future, making decisions and pushing for an outcome but other moments have been real ‘God moments’ where only He could have shaped the process. Yes, I’m inadequate for this ministry. Yes, there are others who would do it better. Yes, I’m not the most qualified to speak on any subject but God is a god who chooses those who are weak and small so His greatness can be seen. I rely on Him and Him alone!

I feel privileged to walk the walk God has marked out for me. I have no idea why He has but I’ll walk it, hiding behind Him as He leads. I will continue to journal my story so that others may join me and help me and to be used by God to shape me into the minister God wants me to be.


  1. You may like to read, if you haven't already, Thomas a Kempis' "The Imitation of Christ". It may help clarify your ideas about humility and calling. Helped me a lot. :)Andrew L.

  2. Ned,Really insightful and personally honest posts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.On sketches in services, I think that sometimes not enough thought goes into whether they're appropriate for the subject or context. Eg a services mainly aimed at adults shouldn't be afraid to deal with the Biblical text seriously. Maybe there's something about how lighthearted a sermon should be as well…I will return to this blog, as I'm working on a TPR essay on blogs and journals and how Christians can use them wisely. If you have any reflections on this, do post or let me know.Steve W

  3. Andrew,I have read Imitation of Christ and found it immensely helpful. I became, however, very aware of the desert father, semi platonic idea of body as prison mentality. I'm not sure how much he meant that to be the case. I question some of his emphasis on suffering but I do agree that as a piece for reflection and wisdom it's note-worthy. I must remind myself of the earlier passages on humility. I will go and get it out from the library again and I will comment further.Thanks for the suggestion.Ned

  4. Steve,I have been having lots of chats this week about the nature of 'blogging' and the lack of definition of the concept. Gerard Kelly spoke at Spring Harvest about the digital world and the transfer of authority from the printed word to the technological word and how many bloggers are now becoming famous and authority figures where published authors were in the past.For me the nature of 'blogging' is not as an on-line journal or diary. I see no point in publishing personal thoughts and accounts that have no relevance for anyone else. A colleague used the comparison of the newspaper column. The difference with 'blogging' is that there's no editor. Kelly, at Spring Harvest, commented that prior to the spread of the web ideas were edited before becoming accessible to all. Ideas needed to be fully formed and thought out and was more 'monologuistic' and this is shown also in the presentation of the gospel where preachers would write out their sermon and pre-plan. Now, ideas are put out there and edited. The sharing of ideas has become 'dialoguistic' where people, together, shape the idea and all see the working out. I guess in preaching terms it's the dialectic sermons of Paul compared to the monologue of Peter at pentecost.This blog is me trying to shape some ideas and thoughts and the need for others to see things from different angles. I want to paint a fully rounded vision of the relationship between theatre and faith and this can come about from allowing others to speak into it and correct my thoughts. That is all from the top of my head and you have probably done more reading and research but there you have the nature of 'blogging' again… which leads me to a final point…I think…With the wide access to information and opinions and thoughts on a whole range of topics trying to collate all information and comment on it all is impossible. We are, in this day in age, more acutely aware of the things we do not know and the sheer amount of information out there. This requires more than one person involved in the gathering of information to make informed comments. Thus the shift from published, set text to the 'blogging' organic text.

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