Friday, January 27, 2012

The Ministry and Me

With all my recent photography posts, ya'll are probably thinking that is all I spend my every waking hours doing. {And just between you and me- sometimes I DO spend more time on my new hobby than I should!} But really, my photography endeavors are a little further down on my priority list.

Nearer to the top is "The Ministry", as we call it. =) I guess that's just an abbreviated term for the service for God that we feel called to do. We happen to get a pay check from a church, but I know lots of people "in the ministry" who are technically accountants, engineers, doctors, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers. Okay well I actually don't know any butchers or candlestick makers, But I do know a baker!

I don't post much about our ministry here or the ministry in general. I guess it's because I feel hesitant to influence any one's perspective on full time ministry, or being an APW - Assistant Pastor's Wife, thank you very much- based on something I say. I'm afraid the ministry is overflowing with servants in the ministry, particularly women in the ministry, who feel like they don't "measure up". There can be such stiff stereotypes about what exactly makes a "good" pastor's wife (or any other position title you want to insert there, but probably the biggest would be the pastor's wife). I know of several ministry wives who don't feel like they have the right personality, talents, skills, knowledge or spirituality to be in  the place that they are in. What's ironic is that one particular pastor's wife I know who really struggles with these feelings of inadequacy and lack of "what it takes" said to me that "she just isn't like Mrs. McCoy" - my late mother in law. And the kicker is that my mother in law never ever thought she was the quintessential pastor's wife at all! She felt like she never fit in at meetings for pastor's wives. She never enjoyed standing up and speaking in front of a group of women. She had to really muster up her courage to simply pray at a gathering like a baby shower. And there are many other specific areas that she was for sure not the "typical pastor's wife". But isn't it funny how to some, she represented everything a pastor's wife should be? When I told her how my struggling friend thought of her, she rolled her eyes and couldn't understand it.=)

As for me, I'm not much like my mother in law either. And I'm not too much like my home pastor's wife. But I do hope that I have little bits of pieces of them in me. I'll never be the ultra practical and mostly introvert that my mother in law was. But I hope I picked up some of incredible work ethic, and I hope that I learned from her to read the Bible for myself and let the Holy Spirit instruct me, instead of only living off of what someone tells me the Bible says. And I may not  have the wonderfully ability to diffuse personality conflicts like my home pastor's wife did- but I sure hope I can someday!! {really need to work on that one!} And I absolutely hope I learned how to love unlovely people who can offer nothing in return like she did... as I was a recipient of that love.

I don't know all there is to know about surviving and thriving in the ministry. I know it's weird life. =) Tax preparers don't even know where to start with us. We have zero flexibility and yet we have lots of flexibility. Make sense? =)  One thing I never like to say about ministry life is that we are busy. Look around you- who ISN'T busy!?! At least, we get to be busy together and doing for the Lord! It's actually a sweet deal.

Am I doing it "right"? I don't know.

My ministry consists of:
Loving Seth
Loving our girls
Helping Seth do ___________. {God fills in the blank.See? Told ya- weird, sweet life.}
Teaching SS, or helping others teach SS.
Nursery nursery nursery.

What I want to add:
Having a better attitude toward nursery. =)
Interacting more with the teen girls. In a way that doesn't involve them babysitting my children. =)
Being a  true friend to the ladies in our church.
Encouraging the members of our church
Reaching out more effectively to those not in church.{Winter + young children = me feeling like a very unfruitful witness. Would love anyone's ideas for improving in this area. One thing I've decided to do is when strangers approach me to compliment or talk to my girls, I'm going to give them tracts and invite them. It's something I should already do I know, but so often I just have friendly chit chat and then they walk away and I think- duh! Should've invited them to church!}

I loved college. LOVED it. I learned a lot. But I don't know if one can actually teach the ministry. It's kind of on the job training kind of thing. So this is my "in a nutshell" thoughts on it.



TracieB said...

Only that bizarre elementary school haircut was unlovely. You were pretty awesome from day were, believe it.

I use your testimony or parts of it at least weekly with teen girls or college girls. Even those you may never know have been blessed by your faithfulness.

Just don't forget to sing "Boogie Woogie Washer Woman" every now and then.

Kayte said...

Ah the haircuts of doom... the super short bob was a bad move. And then the half shaven thing... my husband told the teens here about that and they did NOT believe him. LOL And it's been awhile since I boogie woogied but it's bound to come out sooner or later! LOL