Monday, April 6, 2009

Moving down the path

I know I mentioned I had my NERSCC meeting/evaluation a couple of weeks ago. I haven't gotten the recommendation yet, but I'll wait another week to send a note. I did send a thank you note, but I know he's just returning from sabbatical and is swamped.

One of the pivotal things about that meeting is that he put into words something that has been in my mind for some time. I'm moving from a place of identifying with "being called" to the ministry to one of ministerial formation.

I recognize that as people move from one role to another, that they struggle to align themselves with their transformation. One thing that's been difficult for me lately is that I could really use the advice/listening ear of my spiritual advisor, whom I can't afford to pay, and in lieu of that, would benefit from talking with my ministers about some life challenges.

However, I'm hesitant to contact them, because as I'm moving toward resuming my education, and other parallel paths along the ministerial path, I would like to at least appear to have my sh*t together, even if I am human, like everyone, even ministers, and I am having a hard time making a move to talk to them. Isn't that stupid?

I'm sure this is one of my growing edges; my awareness of new boundaries and personal competencies (or failings). There are other ways in which my personal relationship with my church is shifting. I feel like I'm present, yet moving through it, as I move into preparing to minister myself in the next few years or so. Everything has a new light around it, and I have a new way of looking at and evaluating things that is a bit disconcerting. I feel like I have gained and lost something as I move into this new phase of my transformation. It's a bit lonely.

Maybe when I start school, I'll find that I'm not so alone in this experience.

1 comment:

ogre said...

Try the imaginary shoe on your other imaginary foot.

You're a minister. And someone wants to talk to you about your situation/experience/process... where you are "at" now.

Does that sound like counseling that's contracted for and charged for? It doesn't, to me.

One of the people I turned to was the intern at a neighboring church. I met him there, but I believe I contacted him and said I'd like to talk (we'd met once, at G.A.) and would be happy to buy him a cup of coffee....

And yes, everything changes subtly. One day you realize that although you're not yet a minister, there are people who only know you as someone who is (becoming) a minister, and so in some sense, that's who you are to them. There are folks here in my congregation who are friends I've been in the trenches with, and for them, I'm changing but not... really. Sort of. But am, too. But for the people who are showing up over the last year and are going to be leaders within a year or two or three, people who'd be my companions and fellow over-committers otherwise... I'm the guy who's going to be a minister. Even through we're friendly, and in some cases quite friendly, there's a difference in the relationship.

The only people who can really talk about this with you are either professionals who deal intimately with ministers, or ministers, or other ministerial students.

Bother someone. I don't think they'll see it as being imposed on.