I invited a friend from my previous church family along to the evening service last week. When we found ourselves in conversation with someone on staff, my friend began recounting some of my past experiences – accomplishments? – and skills in “Christian ministry”.
That made sense, as we had shared experiences which were relevant to this staff member. Nothing that was said could be doubted, but I was left saddened that this was the focus of me at that point.
What about my accomplishments outside of ‘Church’ over the years? (I was commissioned to impact it just 15 minutes before!) I’ve also, as it happens, written a scheme of work making psychometric profiling accessible to teenagers. I’m proud of that. I’m also proud of facilitating 11 year-olds cooking their first ever meal and come to realise they’re creative and can make something.
I realised I hadn’t shared with this friend my many achievements outside of a Church building. I’ve made church ministry more easily recognisable to them than it by keeping my day job in its box.
As for now, I’m “only” a volunteer, seeking my way into paid (“real”) employment after years of incapacitation and Incapacity Benefit. I don’t actually like what I do for now and am just making my C.V. more full for the future. On Friday I was entrusted with a Basic Skills class of “only” four adults to facilitate myself: my Line Manager was away.
One of them didn’t shout at the voices in her head as they were silent that day and was appreciative of the fruit I provided after I prayed about what snacks to bring. Might this be the Presence of Christ going with me into a place of oppression to bring freedom?
Another has been re-inspired to dream again of writing a book, and opened up about how he feels he’s wasted years in addiction. Might this be a realisation that hope can re-appear after desolation?
Yet another was encouraged to submit to governing authorities: diagnostic tests have to be taken by him and marked by me, and they’re not fun for either of us.
For the first time ever, we finished on time: boundaries have been enforced firmly with gentleness, with love. Blessing was spoken over students as they left, to have a great week. (Blessing is wanting good things for others and speaking out that this will come to pass.)
Of course God is in what I do with people isn’t He?
Over the past six weeks I’ve tidied up really tedious data in pretty spreadsheets to appease some funding scheme of the Government. God is also in the business of bringing order out of chaos.
I’m sorry for not sharing this more readily. This is the Holy Spirit making an impact through me in my working week. This is his ‘Kingdom Come’ that we pray for.
I wonder what God has been doing through you in your marketplace.
Oh, and those ministry “accomplishments” – they’re not important to mention.
//New Series starts in November, ‘Thank God it’s Monday’.