Monday, June 25, 2012

Pastor Joyce the Teacher

I have taken a lot of spiritual gift inventories in my life.  I am one of those people who love to take these type of inventory things, it doesn't really matter whether they are true or not.  It's also pretty easy for me to be able to manipulate them.  I usually can figure out where it is going and skew my answers.  Now why I do that? I don't know. Perhaps it is the challenge of it.

I usually end up on spiritual inventories with one of my strengths being pastoral ministry.  I also end up high on the teacher scale as well.  All that makes a lot of sense I suppose and seems to fit me.

Those of you who are my friends in real life, or on Facebook, know that I have been very frustrated that no one seemed to accept or receive my gifts.  I had a LONG talk with God a while back. Oh it was a talk all right.  I cried.  I argued. I sort of told God just how I felt.  I said God - this is just not right.  You've given me these gifts and yet You open no doors for me.  I went on with how I did everything I thought He told me to do.  I went back to school.  I'm a very well prepared unemployed, unused but willing vessel.  I really just want to serve and when the one giving out the assignments doesn't give you one, what do you do?

I've found that it is one thing to reach the end and it is another to reach the end and tell God what you think.  Okay, for those of you who have never wrestled with God and wonder if it's okay to do, let me tell you this. I've found that sometimes it is the only way to get the answer.

It wasn't long after this "conversation" with God that I got an email from the Pastor of the church to which I belong.  He wondered if I would teach the Book of Acts to the Adult Bible study on Wednesday night.  I was like HUH?  Really? Of course I would.  That's like asking a kid if they want candy.

Finally, a place to use my gifts. I love it!  I love teaching.  I love digging through the scriptures and getting all nerdy - then I have to work to break it down so I don't bore the folks with all my nerdiness...The folks seem to like it. I'll miss them tomorrow night while I'm at my summer residency at school.  But a few weeks has turned into the end of August. Woo-hoo!

Not only am I teaching but I'm actually beginning to feel a part of this little church I belong to... that's a plus!  And, I get to preach for them on an upcoming Sunday - I think I love preaching as much or probably more than teaching.

In two weeks, I'll start a job.  I haven't had a job in years.  I'm going to get paid for what I love to do - okay, it's not a full-time pastor job - but it's a close second.  I'm going to teach at a Technical College - they'll even pay me!

And last, but certainly not least - pastor ministry.  Now you don't have to have a church, or a title, or a paycheck to engage in pastoral ministry.  Every day I find opportunities to minister to people.  It happens on line a lot.  Sometimes I wonder - where are the pastors?  Perhaps they are too busy to be with the people who hurt and have needs - so they find me.  And that's just awesome!


Debbie Petras said...

Joyce, congratulations on completing your schooling! You have definitely done your preparing and are ready to be used. But I love that you understand those every day opportunities to minister to those in need. There are a whole lot of hurting people out there and also in our churches.

I'm so glad that you are having this opportunity to teach the book of Acts this summer. I'm sure you will be a blessing to those in your class. The Lord will use you in His ways and timing.

And in the meantime, it is nice to get paid. The practical issues, right?

Blessings and love,

David-FireAndGrace said...

Yay, God!

I love the book of Acts. I did a Google map of Philips translation in chapter 8. It's good for a laugh, and a great example of the supernatural work of God.

And happy doctorate. :)

I will be waiting for your book.