Of course you are wondering who I am to be offering advice and wisdom for the ministry life and beyond? Your desire to check up on me reveals the deep wisdom already in you. Don’t accept any old bit of advice from just any old lady (especially us old ladies!) without knowing her background and if she has real life experience in ministry.
I am 59 years old (still shocking to me!) and after growing up “in the church” I moved right in to leading youth groups, marrying a youth pastor. I helped him as he became an Associate Pastor, Singles Pastor, Small Group Director, Interim Pastor, and a Senior Pastor. On my own I was a Sunday School Superintendent, directed nursery & toddlers ministry, taught Sunday School for thirty years, was a Children’s Church Pastor for many years, taught in a church-run pre-school, directed Women’s Ministry, organized our local pastor’s wives monthly meetings, taught mid-week kids classes and oversaw several outreach ministries to our community. Hubs and I have just completed ten years of founding and directing a small Ministry School which has been our favorite ministry so far!
If you are involved in church leadership of any denomination, you know all the hundreds of duties included in the list above! I can hardly believe I have done so many different jobs within the church, but between Hubs and I we have pretty much ‘done it all’. And truly loved most of it. Ha!
Here, My Friends, is the important piece…… As I spent my days, months and years working for God, even though I loved Him with all my heart……I never felt like I was doing enough! I knew God loved me, He loved everyone. But I ached to prove my love by what I did for Him and for others.
I also was crippled by fear….of life. Fear of failure, injury, looking stupid, being wrong….so I slowly and carefully built a wall around myself that insulated me from the risks of life. I wrapped this busy ministry woman up in a comfy cocoon. Keeping busy made me feel good about myself.
But the loving and gentle God we serve knew that living in a cocoon, even one I had made to fit myself perfectly was not the BEST for me. He began to slowly show me my worth. He spoke love words to me that taught me that all my doing for Him was not really impressing Him at all!
God loved me at first sight! He loves that I get up and breath in the morning, that is enough for Him! What? Are you saying that God is just as happy with us if we spend the day reading in the backyard as He would be if we were out being the main speaker at a Women’s Conference or preaching in a church??
I am no longer in a confining cocoon with silly rules about Christian life. I read my Bible when I want to, not according to a strict morning schedule, I love my church but I also have spent some lovely Sundays at the beach with God! I NEVER would have done that years ago!!
Why? Because I was a classic Church Lady! Hard on myself and hard on others.
God is just not as hard to please & delight as we think He is!
Now I am a flying butterfly, no more tight, ugly, scratchy cocoon for me. And the world has not come to an end because I have a glass of wine or decide not to attend every single church function we have!