At an induction I attended recently the minister being inducted responded to his induction with these thoughtful words:
"I want to be a ‘traditional’ minister – that is, a Minister who is deeply rooted in our tradition, not bound by traditionalism.
You see Tradition calls us to be the church; worshipping and trusting in God and serving the world
Traditionalism calls us to worship and trust in the church; afraid of the world and serving our own desire for security
Our tradition calls us to never cease praising God with psalms and spiritual songs.
Traditionalism says – “Yes, but only from the Methodist hymnal; or the Scripture in Song books”
Tradition reminds us to cling to the Word of God, and use it for teaching and instruction
Traditionalism says – “Of course, using the proper Queen’s English”
Tradition convicts us of the truth that the way of Christ is the way of the Cross – of giving one’s life for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
Traditionalism says that this way is adequately lived out in committees, fetes and working bees.
Our tradition also causes us to pause when the latest and newest thing comes along, promising to revolutionise life as we know it; and reminds us that it is just as foolish to worship technology instead of God, as it is to worship a particular style or era of church life.
So in my unfolding discovery of how I am going to be a Minister here I will be seeking to hold fast to the riches of our tradition, and prune away my temptation to traditionalism; so that we can together discover how to be the people of God for today heading into the future that God continually calls us into."