This is a continuation/ elaboration of things mentioned in the previous post.
The academic work: I’ve registered for IDP, I put in the regular work hours and documented this, and I’ve done half the reflective journal for which I have notes that will help me finish it. What I need to do is finish the other half of the journal which will be easy, gather a few signatures, and finish up a research paper. I should be able to finish up the academics, with hard work, but it isn’t overwhelming. And also I’ll be making plans for finishing up/ moving positively towards graduation. Advisor’s going to help me figure out exactly where I am in the program and what I need to finish.
The ministry ideas that I’m excited about are the ones that include building a community. Generally, the ideas involve building relationships, becoming aware of people’s needs, and meeting needs. I have some practical ways to do this, some pieces of a plan is going to take time to develop.
I think, quite possibly, I could be stronger in relational ministry than I thought I was. For me, as I go forward with ministry things, I’m going to see if I can tap into this strength (towards these ministry ideas)- I don’t believe I was doing this before. This idea of trying to meet relational needs comes from the SHAPE profile, as guided by a pastor friend and the book by Erik Rees. Meeting needs comes under the chapter about Heart. For relational needs, the chapter says:
The focus here is on helping people develop authentic, Christ-centered relationships with others. Those who take an interest in meeting these needs find fulfillment in connecting people- helping them find and build satisfying relationship. Those who are drawn to meet such needs tend to use gifts of encouragement, wisdom, hospitality, mercy, discernment, and pastoring.
I’ve been hesitant in this area because relationships are messy. Overall, I like having no drama; I especially have little aptitude and interest in resolving drama that involves me. I like observing relationships more so rather than being a participant. One of my flippant phrases is “I don’t like people.” This reflects my “no drama” nature. I actually love people; I would just rather not make more mess, and I tend to feel the weight (blame myself) for messes that occur. However, I think I’m growing in this area of meeting relational needs well and I’d like to find out if I have or not.
I am also interested in exploring and meeting spiritual needs. I need to learn how to tap into this more as well. My hesitation in this has been that I am very sensitive to personal guilt, whether real or merely perceived guilt. I am so aware that I can be ugly so it’s never quite believable to me that God could use me towards building others up spiritually, like how others have invested and imparted things to my spiritual development in the past. Though, I think I might be growing in this area as well and I can’t think of anything that could be more… enjoyable! I’m surely enjoying the spiritual growth that I’m experiencing and others could have their own enjoyment in such growth. I don’t know what I could contribute to growth in others, but I think it’d be sad if I don’t try.
Working: I’d like to work FT and have a more steady schedule, but then it would be difficult to keep it up and return to FT academics. I have skills for office work, which tends to be FT positions; it would be good to have some health benefits. I would also feel like I’m contributing to a better life, for myself, for my family and friends, for the community within which I’d be working.
On the other hand, I think I would enjoy PT work again, like if I was a sales associate or hostess again; I enjoy serving people. This type of work could also provide more (personal) ministry opportunities.
I suppose I’ll just put myself out there and see what kind of work opportunities come my way.
The volunteer work idea comes from previous experience. For a practicum, I was in the North Bay area and had to include volunteer hours. I chose to work with East Bay Habitat for Humanity. My memories there are some of my fondest, not because of what I was doing but more for the people I met, for the feel of working alongside others. The East Bay HH was very well-organized. Also, I enjoy physical work like construction.
Well, I’ve sent in the form twice for volunteering with the local-home HH, with no response yet. Maybe they’re not so organized or I don’t know what, so today (Sept. 1st) I sent in the form again. I really enjoyed my past experience, the work is worthwhile, so I’m gonna keep on trying.
In case HH doesn’t work out yet, I think I’ll look around for other work I could do with my skills, prior experience, interests, etc. If I can’t get a community-ministry thing going, at least I would be pursuing personal-ministry opportunities in the meantime.
So I’m excited about many things! I’d like to see others be excited about their own things.
An update on my Joy Experi-ence/ -ment: I am pleased to report that it is ongoing! Well, last week, for about an hour or so, I got sad. BUT, it didn’t overtake me. I’ll go with that. :)
Hope things are well with you!
Mahalo for reading.