Tuesday, May 12, 2009

stepping up my game

Apparently this is the season of bigger challenges in ministry. It seems that everything that is coming my way counseling wise is more difficult and more trying.

  • a domestic violence situation that is abusive on both sides
  • someone who is suicidal who wants help but will only go kicking and screeming
  • marriage counseling that is WAY above my skill set
  • a 5000 person concert with cranky pants publicity people who want to stand in the way
  • long-term church visioning (yeah...where was this class in seminary?!?)
and much more fun!!! In more than one situation I have caught myself thinking, "I am in way over my head!!" Each time I have felt like I need more training, to read 10 more books, and to have 20 more years of ministry and experience to help folks.

In some ways, it's like going back to the beginning of ministry for me...back to when I worked at a transitional living center for drug and alcohol addicts who were mostly middle aged black men who had suffered lots of abuses in their lives, and there I stood, a young, privileged white girl who had no idea what they had lived through.

Back then my mantra was, "It's not about me, it's about God, and as long as I let God work through me, it will be ok." I think it's time for that mantra to become my everyday motto...it is not about me, it's about God, and I need to keep being the vessel for God to use in ministry.

It is challenging feeling like you have no answers and nothing to offer. It's hard to feel like a novice again after feeling like I was doing so well.

Ahh...the joys of ministry


Bart said...

Good advise. I feel like I'm over my head all of the time. It must be the way Abraham, Moses, Paul, Timothy, etc... felt. God seemed to do fine with them.

I pray you'll know it's ok too. "i believe...help my unbelief..."

Rachel said...

Please don't forget that you can refer people to professional counselors... indeed you *should* refer them if you're feeling over your head. Don't try to be Jesus -- let Jesus handle it! :)

Sending you lots of love!