Lucas Sharley Interviewing Himself

Lucas: So you’re interviewing yourself?  

Lucas: Well, I do live in my own head a lot. Who knows me better than myself? 

Lucas: Almost anyone, really. Your head is where you lie to yourself.  

Lucas: To be honest, I just don’t want to heap more work on anyone else in the Connect team.

Random Editor-in-Chief interfering: Aww, that’s nice.

Lucas: So it’s about avoiding guilt?  

Lucas: Look, I have some time this Tuesday morning to write. Can we just get on with it? 

Lucas: Fine, fine. Who are you?  

Lucas: A child of God through Jesus Christ.  

Lucas: Funny. Tell me about yourself, child of God.  

Lucas: I’ve lived my whole life in Brisbane. I have two big sisters, two nieces, and a nephew. I got married late last year.  

Lucas: How did you become a pastor?  

Lucas: That makes it sound more intentional than it really was. I was doing some part-time research at Queensland Theological College, and through that, got invited to speak to the Youth Fellowship. Rev. Alexis Lui asked me to come back and do some more work with the youth in the English congregation. The role grew from there, and when I finished my research in September 2019, I came on full-time as a pastor. 

I’ve honestly never felt a supernatural call to ministry. It was more a choice of practical love: I have the time and training, and here is a place I can serve God’s people.  

Lucas: Did you grow up in church?  

Lucas: Yes and no. I grew up in an Anglican church, but I didn’t become a Christian until late high school. The church we went to wasn’t great at preaching about Jesus. And we stopped going near the end of primary school for various reasons. The Anglican liturgy left a big stockpile of prayer and ritual in my heart, but it was lacking the love of God which made it worthwhile. 

Lucas: How did you become a Christian?  

Lucas: Through Scripture Union camps. One of my big sisters, who has been a Christian much longer than me, convinced my parents to send me to a SU camp during school holidays. There I heard that Jesus could save me from my sin and re-make me. It was the first time I heard the gospel — probably not the first time someone said it to me, but the first time it sank into my heart.  

It took a few more years to put my faith in Jesus. Even then, I was quite a weak Christian for many years, stumbling through life without much direction or holiness.  

Lucas: What is a place or time that shaped you as a Christian?  

Lucas: It sounds a little odd but going to Bible college (Queensland Theological College) was where I found my feet as a Christian. Partly it was being around so many serious Christians. Partly it was being taken completely seriously — treated as an adult whose mind and choices mattered.

Lucas: Who are the close friends and family who support you in your work?  

Lucas: My wife Beccy most of all. My fellow pastors Rev. Gloria and Ps. David. Rev. Alexis Lui and Rev. David Tay did a lot to help me adjust to the CMCA. Quite a few in my congregation keep encouraging and supporting me. And beyond that, I have a network of Christian friends who are willing to listen when I need to talk.  

I also have a good friend from college, Andrew, who is a minister in NSW. We talk on the phone and give each other outside perspectives on pastoral ministry.  

Lucas: How have you grown as a Christian while serving as a pastor?  

Lucas: The main growth has been letting go of my pride and control issues — learning that Jesus runs the church, not me. The world doesn’t revolve around my ideas or my work. I am a servant, not a master. Pastoral work involves a lot of factors I don’t control. If I don’t learn to submit to God’s providence, frustration can eat my soul. 

The main growth has been letting go of my pride and control issues — learning that Jesus runs the church, not me.

Lucas Sharley

Lucas: Has pastoral ministry been hard?  

Lucas: Yes. But Scripture tells us that following Jesus is hard. Sometimes I make it hard for myself by imposing my own expectations and desires on the congregation. Sometimes it’s just hard because of all the people and time involved.  

Coming into the CMCA as an Anglo, there have also been cultural differences. People have been very welcoming and forgiving. But I keep needing to adjust how I do things — how I write, how I speak, how I participate in meetings. These differences aren’t bad. They’re just there. I didn’t realise how Anglo and Western I was until I came to a church context which was strongly influenced by other cultures. 

Lucas: What do you need the church’s prayers about?  

Lucas: Everything! Especially pray for good health as Beccy and I have been sick quite a bit this year.  

Lucas: You really need prayer for your prayer life.  

Lucas: That too. I find a huge difference between days where I pray and seek God, and days where I don’t because I allow myself to be distracted. Please pray for my prayer life. It makes a huge difference to my holiness and work.  

Random Editor-in-Chief interfering AGAIN: Well, reader, why don’t we pray for Lucas then?

Father, we thank you for giving Lucas to the CMCA as a gift. Thank you for his ministry and his passion in gospel work. We pray that, as he is continuing his ministry among us, you be willing to remind him to always depend on you in prayers. Remind him that he is weak, but you are strong. Remind him to always do ministry participating in your work and your will — through prayers — instead of leaning on his own.

We pray for Lucas and Beccy as they’ve been battling physical weaknesses. Give them strength and endurance. We pray that their marriage might reflect the love that Jesus has for the church.

Help us, as a church, to always support and encourage them in this ministry partnership. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Lucas Sharley is an Intern Pastor at Eight Mile Plains Methodist in Brisbane.