For six years while I was in seminary, I kept telling people “I’m called to chaplaincy, I’m not called to parish ministry.” For six years. And God just let me go on that way, because I’m fairly certain that she knew that if she lit up the whole path in front of me at the beginning, I’d have run away. But God is sneaky, and she was just all with the “come on, get in the car, go to seminary, it’ll be fun! What could happen?” And then, um, parish ministry happened. Who knew? Well, I guess God knew.
God knew that she wanted me to be at this particular congregation at this particular time. God wanted me, with my particular set of life experiences, to pastor to this particular church. So here I am. I’m the minister. The solo minister in a very small congregation that wants to grow.
It’s not a perfect church. Of course, there is no perfect church. At the risk of creeping into Methodism here, on the day we reach perfection – as individuals or as an entire church – well, won’t that be something! At that day, I think we’ll be able to say that the Kingdom of God is here! My work will be done. So it’s not a perfect church. It’s the perfect church for me.
I’ve only been there for a couple of weeks (not even), but I’m also coming to realize that I was completely made for this. This is what God had intended for me all my life, I think. There is much work to be done, but I’m feeling energized. I don’t recall ever feeling like this about a job before – but of course, this isn’t just a job, it’s a calling. I’m not called to this church – I’m hired here, but ministry itself is a calling.
I have the support of so many wonderful colleagues, and that can’t be over-stated. This isn’t me coming in as savior to fix the church. This is God sending me to do God’s work, with with the people and with the support of my colleagues to do the work of the church. I can’t imagine doing this without the support of my colleagues.
I’m so thankful for my call. It’s such a gift to be able to understand my purpose. I’m so thankful for my colleagues. They teach and guide and support, and they’re making me a better minister. And, most important, I’m so thankful for the people of the church – the congregation that I serve. I love these people.
Lord, may I remain mindful that it is your Holy Spirit that is working through me. Grant me patience and lend me your wisdom, and continue to guide my feet.
That’s my mite.