I guess I finally feel like sharing this little gem of a paper I wrote last term, but its seven pages long. And it is written like I turned it in for credit or something.
Anyway – nobody gets through a blog post that is seven pages worth of reading and nobody [normal] finds term papers an enjoyable form of media.
So I’m breaking this beast up into more digestible bites, and editing it for blog-friendliness. The story itself remains intact…an actual account of my ministry experience from about September of last year to April of this year….
1. What was your ministry involvement? Please include any ministry/educational goals for developing your Ministry understanding and skills, and how did you meet those goals? 2. What did you learn from your supervisor in the area of Ministry and how did you apply this to your ministry? 3. What have you learned in the area of Ministry and Leadership from your reading and how was applied it to your ministry? 4. What are your areas of strength (e.g., gifts and talents) and what are areas for growth (e.g., weaknesses) as you develop your skills for Leadership in Ministry? 5. How this will prepare you for your future areas of ministry?
I am like, out-of-this-world grateful for the ministry role that God placed me in at my church. I am what’s called the First Step Assistant, and I have the opportunity on 27 weekends out of the year to engage with people and share in their next steps of faith. This little role has brought TONS of value to my life and I’m very blessed to have been trusted with such an awesome place of service.
This whole thing is something I’ve been able to develop from day one. When I first began looking for a place of service, I opted to join the church’s high school ministry, but we’ll visit the thinking behind that decision some other time. The main thing to know in this case is that I didn’t really seem to fit in for some reason.
Then one morning while I was there, I was working the high school info table in the main hallway when the pastor who runs the First Step ministry approached me with a periodic serving opportunity that would be best-filled by those who had already gone through First Step Experience and enjoyed talking to people. It sounded like a lot of fun and I told him that I would love to help. The day came a few weeks later and I enjoyed it so much that as I was leaving, I asked Greg to let me know if he needed any help in the upcoming weeks with the new round of First Step Experience. He said he could definitely use the help, but that there wasn’t an actual volunteer role for it so he would get in-touch with me early in the coming week to iron out specifics. Sure enough, he did whatever was needed to make that happen and sent me a volunteer role description a couple days later.
It sounded perfect.
So I jumped on-board with the next session of First Step Experience and loved every minute. It was a chance to share with people, encourage them, build friendships with them, and care for them. All of the stuff that really lights my fire. 😉 Not to mention how much more I got to learn just by being there. I was in the most ideal serving role I could possibly be in.
After a few months, Pastor Greg asked me on a couple occasions to close out the class so he could get over to the main auditorium for baptisms and such. I think “deer in the headlights” is the most accurate description of my response the first time he asked me to do this. The idea of speaking to the class paralyzed me and using a mic made me feel incredibly self-conscious and unnatural.
I did it, but without the mic, and not particularly well.
I was later reflecting about it and I just wasn’t satisfied. I did what needed to be done, but I was disappointed with myself because I felt like I did a crappy job. I know my face had to have been beet-red the whole time, while my voice was shaking, my hands were trembling, and I was no doubt fidgeting like crazy. It must have been obvious that I was completely unsure of myself.
As over-critical as it may be, the whole experience felt like a failure to me and I was bothered about it. So I made it a goal to get over it – to learn how to speak to large groups and to do so with a microphone in-hand. I needed to overcome all the little fears that held me back from public speaking because it was those very same fears that would limit me in the future.
My talent is for writing, but developing the ability to convey a message out loud has become paramount. What success will I have as a writer, or in any arena, if I can’t confidently verbalize my ideas? Besides that, it is really easy to imagine my journey taking me somewhere that speaking to large groups is a common and necessary task.
This is a skill I had no choice but to improve on. So that is exactly what I did…
Stay tuned for Part 2.
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