When I went into my first ministry placement, straight out of college, I was so surrounded by nerves and daunted by the unknown, that I didn’t even need to worry about anything else. That first step into ministry came gift-wrapped with care and support, as it should in the beginning.
When I began my second placement, I was busy with preparing for my brother’s wedding, and preparing to jump straight into Advent, that any worry and nervousness didn’t have a chance to even reach my awareness.
Now, having moved and unpacked, I’m about to begin my third placement- and the nerves and anticipation have kicked in!! It probably doesn’t help that we moved early, and I have way too much time to think about it, but I’m also aware of the anticipation and expectation this time too. I don’t have any other distractions, only time to be aware of my own feelings, and consciousness of those of the congregation as well.
It may well be a “chicken and egg” situation, but I’m not sure whether I’m more conscious of the expectation because I have time to think about it, or because I have been beginning to meet members of the congregation; and I’m not sure if the people’s excitement has been fed by my arrival, or is based simply on the time without a minister… In any case, I find myself wanting to calm others excitement, while simultaneously questioning my own capacity to meet their excited expectations.
It’s a paraphrase, but I find myself want to say, “I’m not the Messiah, I’m just a very naughty girl!!”
I feel like I’m in the right place, and that the ministry here is going to be good and exciting (and a bit hard). But my huge fear (in all things really) is that I will let people down, fail them, not meet their expectations- so I must face my fear. And while most of the expectation I feel is probably mostly placed upon myself, I still really hope I don’t let anyone down.
I realise as I finish writing this that is very human, and I haven’t named God. It’s not that God is not in all this- I take it for granted! God is very much in everything that is happening, but my brokenness, my lack of confidence, my fear of failure are the places, for me, that God gets a bit blurry. It’s actually where God is most present and hardest working, but it doesn’t mean I can always see it at the time… God is with me, and will be with me as I embark upon this new ministry with the people at Weeroona. May God bless us as we grow and learn together.