Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sparkfly: What are some issues you face in your personal life?
Balance - this continues to be a constant struggle for me. My natural self tries to fit as much as I can into one day. The tension lies in wanting to "do my best" in work, ministries I partner with, significant relationships that I want to maintain, and daily chores/tasks of every day life. It's no wonder that in feeling exhausted or overwhelmed, I often wonder, "what am I doing to take care of myself?" Often times I am caught up in the trap of being busy and taking care of myself seems to be the first thing to go.

Vocation - "What are you going to do with your life," seems to be the question asked most often of people. Even when you are working full-time in a wonderful church setting, it seems you are not without asking yourself this question. Ministry doesn't seem to be an answer that fits into our mold of vocations. So I struggle with, "How long do I say in this form of ministry?" "When do I move on or am I being moved on to another ministry of interest?"

Sparkfly: What are the biggest issues you face as a minister?
Grief - I minister to a lot of aging congregants. Having celebrated four years of serving in this church, I know these senior adults fairly well. I know their children and grandchildren. We have buried their friends and loved ones together. Recently, a member of this group was diagnosed with a terminal illness and has a short time to live. I am working at helping the congregation and his friends prepare for his death. At the same time I am wondering how I should grieve and prepare myself for grieving. One of the struggles with being a woman and working in a male dominated ministry role is do you show emotion? What is appropriate emotion for your congregation to witness?

Spiritual Formation - Often we place the importance of spiritual formation for our congregants above our own spiritual formation. We tend to forget that it is at the intersection of our willingness to hear and listen to God's voice and God's voice speaking to us that we first heard and experienced call in our own lives. Perhaps our personal spiritual formation should overflow into what we are teaching others to practice in their own lives.

Relevance - How do we involve the church and its practices in being relevant for people's lives today . . . How does what we talk about and practice on Sunday mornings overflow into the world on Monday - Saturday? What difference does it make?


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