Our church participated in our monthly bush regeneration project with the local community yesterday. While sitting in the mulch I was thinking about ministers and science.
Ministers need to be professionally curious about scientific issues.
Ministers are usually able to be conversant on a wide range of issues. Furthermore, most people value what you have to say in respect of your study in the Word of God. How many of you are guilty of knowing more about the politics in science than the science itself? For example, have you ever had a lunchtime discussion about the proposed carbon tax without knowing exactly what carbon is? Have you ever talked about the genome project based on a sermon illustration you heard ten years ago about the one world government? I believe that a professional curiosity about science is very helpful when building trustworthy relationships and when you are asked to comment on ethical ramifications of scientific practice.
Ministers need to practice good scholarship.
I know a PhD candidate who was studying the PhD thesis of their supervising professor. During the investigation, the candidate concluded that the thesis of the professor was flawed. This illustration demonstrates the power of the scientific method. God’s word invites us to a lifetime of good scholarship. But is that what we are presenting on a weekly basis? Ministers need to be careful with God’s word.
Ministers need to communicate the wonder of God’s creation.
I had a great learning experience yesterday. The supervisor of the regeneration project showed me two (to my eye) identical plants and asked me to classify them. He showed me that they were identical in all respects expect for two:
1) What they did at the tips of the leaves and
2) How they felt on the underside.
Amazing! I was immediately struck with the diversity and genius of God’s creation. These moments should be in our weekly messages. We need to bring the wonder of God’s creation into the pulpit to help people to look upward at the power of the creator.
Ministers need to promote good stewardship of our resources.
Environmental issues are common in public debate. A minister that is practicing person and environmental stewardship will be able to build more bridges in the local community than a minister that is unhealthy and ignorant. Why can’t churches practice good environmental design? At the very least it could be a springboard into talking about the creator and the spiritual life.