Over at the RevGals today, Kathrynzj asks us about five perks of ministry.
Hmmmm, I mumbled to myself. A preliminary explanation: I finished seminary last spring and was certified ready to receive a call in November. This past week, I learned in a second-hand way that a church where I've preached four times this winter is not even interested in exploring possibilities with me, and I've had a rough several days for other reasons as well. I'll be hard-pressed to think of any perks! I thought. And then I reflected over these past several months as a candidate and a spiritual director, and was suddenly grateful to have been pressed into these reminders:
1. As a director of the Ignatian Exercises, I get to see (yesterday, for instance) someone's face light up when she says, "I never thought of Jesus in that way before!"
2. As an elder, I get to participate in the big issues of our time, such as voting (last week) for the inclusiveness of participation and leadership to which I believe God calls us as God's beloved people.
3. As an educator, I get to hear someone say (in October) "I've never actually read the Bible before" as a text lies open on the table in front of him.
4. As a worship leader, I get to initiate a plan (in December) for a Christmas service for mourners, and to hear someone who lost a child to suicide say, "I had my doubts, but now I feel freed up to go ahead and celebrate this year."
5. As a mother, I get to engage (all the time) my adult children in a life of faith via discussions about the God in whom they do not believe by reflecting on my reading and my work. (I think there might be seven prepositions in that sentence!)
Now that I write it down, I think: not bad for someone making no headway!