Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ministry in Context: Learning to Lead by Learning to Follow

What is seminary really like?? Well, I can’t speak for everyone but if I had one word to describe how my second year of seminary is going, the word is CRAZY!! Life right now is crazy-awesome and crazy-busy. My feeling of awesomeness and busyness often stems from my experience of Ministry in Context (MIC) this year. What is Ministry in context, well I am glad you asked. Ministry in Context is basically a ‘teaching parish’ experience. MIC is designed to help prepare me for internship next year. I spend about 7 hours/week participating in the congregational life of Bethany Evangelical Lutheran Church, on the southside of Chicago. Bethany is predominately a Black, African American church. Worship life is always filled with praise, prayer and the Holy Spirit. Bethany’s awesome Gospel choir has a way of penetrating the soul that gets me clapping and moving. It has been a refreshing and freeing experience to participate in worship by giving praise to the Lord through clapping and dancing. I love worshipping at Bethany!

Through MIC I will grow in understanding of myself as a minister; gain practical ministry experience; be a part of worship leadership, preach my first sermon; encourage the baptized to recognize and use their God given gifts, lead a ministry project, develop pastoral identity, and so much more.

Currently, I am assisting with teaching 4-5th grade Sunday school which is a blast. Just last week we looked at the call story of Stephen in the book of Acts, one young girl raised the question of whether women were Apostles. We had an awesome time talking about women in the bible as well as why Moses is mentioned and the experience of the Holy Spirit. It is a delight to engage young people in questions of faith and exploring together possible answers. But most of all, my experience is teaching me that MIC is about learning how to lead God's people by learning how to follow Christ. So even though this year I am crazy-busy, MIC is crazy-awesome

May God invigorate our hearts to be followers of Jesus and servants of love, that by learning to follow we may also learn how to lead. Amen.

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