Avril at Romsey

… and Lancefield and Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon

Hello to lurkers – and my God complex

This might be a sign of my complete idiocy, but I actually forget that when I make entries in this blog there are people out there in the real world who read it. Well, I know that Pete reads it, and Alex, and Olivia, and Paul, because you comment on it. But then occasionally I check the blog stats, and find things like the bizarrely high number of people who have read my Boxing Day post. Who are these people? Why on earth are there people interested in how I spent Boxing Day? Did they accidenatlly end up on my blog while researching the Boxing Day sales?

Then there are the lurkers. You know who you are – people who know me and read this blog because they know me but don’t comment on it. I discovered that a member of one of the Romsey Congregation was lurking when I mentioned to her that my grandmother was getting frail and she said, yes, she’d read that. Hmm, must remember not to say nasty things about the congregations.

Actually, there isn’t anything nasty to say. I’m suffering from a God-complex, which manifests itself as me thinking I should be able to do everything a full-time minister with one congregation would do in that single congregation – but in all four. Does that make sense? I grew up in the suburbs, in single congregation parishes (when the UCA had parishes); one minister, one congregation, minister at everything, congregation members able to get to everything.

Now I’m struggling with not being able to attend everything that every one of the congregations does (I don’t even take every Sunday morning service – I take half of them). As well, people tend not to cross the mountain, so if I arrange a special service (like Ash Wednesday) in one place, I’m likely to only get people from at most two of the four congregations attending and I’ve really been worrying about this.

But the worry is mine – it’s not coming from the expectations of congregational members. They are telling me that I don’t need to attend every Church Council meeting – that sometimes I can just send a written report. They are telling me that I don’t need to hold multiple Ash Wednesday services – I just need to alternate the location in future years. They are telling me that they can run a Good Friday service without me – using, of course, a liturgy from the fabulous Dorothy McRae-McMahon. I’m the only person who thinks I need to be God; I seem to have the usual ministerial messiah complex.

Fortunately, a few weeks ago I had a visit from an aggellos. He’s four years old and his name is Daniel. I was meeting him and his parents for dinner in Gisborne after they were on their way home from a weekend in the country, and I was telling his parents that I had been lying awake at night worrying about not being able to be in more than one place at a time. Daniel said, “God can be in more than one place at a time” and I answered, “Yes, and sometimes I think I should be God”. Daniel pointed out, very firmly, that I’m not God. For some reason I was more open to that message from a four-year-old than I had been when anyone else had tried to tell me.

 So, my life is going well – as long as I remember that I’m not God. Really shouldn’t be that hard.


February 11, 2008 - Posted by | Life, etc., Ministry | , , ,


  1. Should I send this message, I’m not a lurker? Anyhoo, listen to the wisdom of the young who realise that the world will keep running even if they’re not there personally to make sure.
    Relax, watch a dvd and read a graphic novel. You’ll be better for it.

    Comment by Pete | February 12, 2008 | Reply

  2. I don’t read it. I just post annoying comments… back to firefly now

    Comment by Alex | February 13, 2008 | Reply

  3. It’s a little understaffed where I work. A reminder that I’m not God and that even with the internet I can’t be two places at once is timely. Thanks.

    By the way, checking your blog stats can be dangerous. Look at what Paul Teusner found last week. . (Warning: This is a little bit off colour.)

    Comment by Paul | February 13, 2008 | Reply

  4. Hey, my link got stripped. How about this:


    Comment by Paul | February 13, 2008 | Reply

  5. Ha! This “lurker” (I may not be a member of your congregation, but I still lurk!) knows he’s not God. A couple of months acting (with my wife) as the ministry locum while our serving minister is unwell (and this is before I’ve even started at Theological College!) has taught me that mush… ;0)

    Comment by Brendan | February 16, 2008 | Reply

  6. oops, I meant much, not mush…see, not God!

    Comment by Brendan | February 16, 2008 | Reply

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