My congregation got smaller last year.

I began 2011 working fulltime as the pastor of West Baptist Church in New Plymouth, a place of shelter, faith and laughter, where I was responsible for a lovely, diverse community of people aiming to make a difference in a challenging part of town. It was my job to help us to listen to God, to become more like Jesus, and make our patch of earth a bit more like the kingdom of heaven.

I ended 2011 working fulltime as the mother of an extremely charming newborn, responsible for … what? In a while, the two jobs will be more similar, as I help this little boy listen to God, become more like Jesus and make his patch of earth, wherever it is, a bit more like the kingdom of heaven. But right now, my small congregation of one requires simpler things: milk, cuddles, warm flannels on his posterior, and triple the amount of washing on the line.

So my job for the next little while, and one of the focuses (or foci, depending on your tastes) of this blog, is to listen for God’s voice in this very different life, to become more like Jesus in my new role, and to make this household and the community around it a bit more like the kingdom of heaven.

That’s a nice, neat way of putting it, and it’s what I wrote in my guest blog at Kiwi Families. But since then, life has got rather more friable. More on that next, I think.

Feel free to join this conversation about the sacred practice of parenthood (and some other stuff) on your own terms. Comment, question, offer your own experiences of listening to God in the challenges and delights of family life.

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