I've been in St. Louis for a while now, but I haven't felt as settled as I wanted to be until just now. I've had needs (being cared for, caring for others, stability, relationships, etc.) that I've been trying to meet in so many places. None of that has been wrong or bad, but it's just been amazing to see God meet my needs with his church! This new church is far from perfect, but it's doing its job! God is using it as a faithful instrument in order to care for his people! That has been such an affirmation for me to wanting to work in the church as my career.
It's so good for me to be in a men's small group that meets weekly at my church. I get to be a part of the lives of the men there and we are growing together to be thinking about how to care for one another and our church. It's been so much fun getting to know them (and cooking out together!).
It's so good for me to be able to devote time and energy towards this church because I'm getting paid for it as well. I've left my official position as rest-room specialist and it's been great having the time to really plan for events and Bible studies, to visit throughout the week, and dive into my new life at Concord!
It's so good for me to be discipled by the pastor there. I'm able to earn some of my field work hours required for graduation. It will work towards my ordination. I'll learn about working within a church.
It's so good for me to be consistently worshiping in one place. Really, that's what we are all meant for and it's nothing short of refreshing to be a part of that community.
Everything about it so far has been fun! The church has monthly pot luck lunches! Some of the twenty-somethings and I have been hanging out. Being part of the Youth Group has been great fun too.
One of the things God has been teaching (again) me is that ministry isn't a formula. I want to believe that if I do the "right" things then I'll get the my desired response. God is showing me that in ministry a+b+c does not always = d which is hard for me because that means I'm not guaranteed the results that I want and I think that will reflect poorly on me (what if I don't get the results the church wants?). It also exposes that I worry that all I have is a few techniques and nothing of real substance - that offering myself isn't enough, that I am inadequate. The senior pastor and I have been working together and he's done much to reassure and remind me that ministry isn't about "results."
I'm still so excited to be a part of this!