This past week I was a retreat and they had us tell the story of one of our "ordaining moments." These are the moments we have in ministry when we feel we are doing exactly what we are supposed to do. These are the moments when you know that you are doing what God has called you to do.
In all the crap that can happen in ministry it is important to realize and take in these "ordaining moments." If we miss them we will be burned out, but if we keep our eyes and hearts open to them we can grow and stay energized in ministry.
I wanted to share a couple of my "ordaining moments" with my readers and I invite you to share yours either in the comments or on your own blog. One of the reasons I think people are so scared of ministry is because of all the crap we ministers go through and then vent about especially online. But if we look at the "ordaining moments" in ministry, there is truly no better place to be. We should share more of these moments with the world and others because they are truly sharing God's grace.
A couple of my "ordaining moments":
- Baptizing my children: I could not even utter the whole sentence "Name I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." I couldn't because when I placed water on my sons head and then three years later my daughters, there was such a tangible presence of the Holy Spirit that words could not be formed in my mouth.
- Over and over again being invited into the tender and raw moments of people lives, especially at the passing of a loved one. Over my four months at this appointment we have said goodbye to two parishioners who had massive heart attacks. One was 56 and the other 42, both too young. When I am invited in I feel I am able to use my spiritual gifts of peace and comfort. I hate doing it because it means tragedy is there but none the less I feel my calling in those moments more as well.
- I recently went back to my first appointment and stood in the silence of a completed youth room. It was a project I help start but moved before it could be completed. I had listened to one of my youth workers tell me of this dream he had about this space and I could tell it wasn't him but it was of God. I get excited about hearing the calling God has put on the lives of people and helping that calling come into fruition It can be a marathon of a process but it is what it is. When it is form God, no matter how long it takes, no matter how much sweat and blood has to be put into it, it is always worth it.
Those are just three examples. What stories would you share? What are your ordaining moment? When you tell the stories of ministry which do you concentrate on, the painful times or the times when you come into contact with our Risen Lord and Savior who is in our midst?