Friday, October 12, 2007


Last night I had my second youth leadership team meeting. This is the area of my ministry I am super thrilled about. Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying leading worship, teaching new songs and new ways of worship, our organic Bible studies and my youth, but this is an area where I have people who are dedicated and willing and wanting to grow in their faith and in this ministry. They feel like my 12 (even though they are only 5!) I am planning on how to teach them to teach a Bible study (more conversationally than expositionally), doing a spiritual gifts inventory, figuring out what kind of leader and communicator they are, and the "ologies" (i.e., theology, eschatology, soteriology, Christology, etc), then one of them added knowing and understanding the committees within the church (yeah, I wasn't as excited about preparing for that one!!!).

As we sat around the dinner table together one of the leaders, A, asked me if I had taken sabbath. I told her I had and it was good because I had noticed I was letting my sabbath be co-opted by the need to do something, so this week I practiced being quiet and listening to my soul. I talked about taking phone sabbath (a need which was readily apparent when I was taking my phone with me from room to room so I wouldn't miss a call--can we say too attached?!?!) and all of that discussion led into me talking about an area of life that is exciting, confusing, and frustrating all at the same time. I hadn't anticipated delving into this discussion, but it just happened and then they had questions...normal conversation things. Except, in the midst of it I began to feel super vulnerable and overly exposed. I just don't share these things with people (not generally new acquaintances and most definitely NOT parishioners). It was weird because I didn't share anything I shouldn't have shared, and they responded appropriately (excitement and questions), and yet I was incredibly uncomfortable--all their attention on me, sharing personal details, being so animated in my sharing. I had this strange feeling I needed to numb my enthusiasm. And all I could chalk it up to was issues of being vulnerable. As I pondered my reaction on the way home I realized that I give so much of myself at the church and in a way I think I was equating that with the vulnerability quota of sharing. Give of self = expose self to those you trust. And what I realized last night is that those two things are quite distinctive. While I do give a lot of myself, I have not really let myself be truly vulnerable in the church--not in a way that wasn't calculated or pre-meditated (thinking about what to share, how much to share, and with whom, so I wouldn't get burned). I am not sure yet how much of this we are simply cultured to believe in the church (especially as pastors) and how much of it is actually necessary for the integrity of the work we do and the reality of church politics...

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