For the last two years I have walked in the midst of uncertainty about where I was leading my congregations. I have wanted a manual handed to me; a how to guide with all the answers, but there is no one size fits all manual for God's work. Each community is unique, each path going in different directions. It has been an opportunity for me to recognize my own limitations and trust more in God's presence. I am constantly reminding myself to listen to God's voice. My "process" has been to take the congregation down the path with me, asking the questions, "Why are we doing this and who are we doing it for?" I have not been certain about my leadership, but I have pushed myself to keep growing and seeking and sharing. This evening I realized that perhaps the result has been that I am exactly where God wants me to be, doing what God wants me to do. I will not measure "success" by the standards of the past or of the world, but will look for those areas that are bearing fruit. For where there is fruit, you will find branches connected to the vine.
Tonight I have been blown away and tremendously affirmed. I am one of eight who have been invited to attend the training. This evening it was explained to us that we were not here because we chose to be, but because we had been chosen by the PCUSA. We were selected because we had been noticed for our work in our congregations and/or Presbyteries. We had demonstrated that we "get it". We understand what it means to be a coach. I admit that I have always hoped for an opportunity like this. Several years ago I attended the Evangelism conference for the Presbytery and felt drawn to this ministry. I have felt that my skills and experience have helped prepare me for the kind of work the Office of Evangelism has been advocating, but I hadn't imagined that people were watching - especially at the GA level. It turns out they were. I am humbled, honored, and excited for such an opportunity. I am grateful for the opportunities that have come through my congregations and the Presbytery. I am grateful that God has given me these opportunities.
I feel myself catch my breath as I realize that part of what I'm doing here is more than receiving training. I am also "auditioning". It is not a guarantee that I will be a coach for the PCUSA. My participation in this training will be evaluated for the abilities needed to coach. But as I prepare to sleep, I turn my thoughts to the questions with which I began. "Why am I doing this and who am I doing it for?" The reason is pretty simple - I want to because my desire is to walk the journey of faith with those who are seeking God and to be an example of God's love for those who are hurting in the world. I want to because God has changed me and continues to change me in ways that make my life rich and rewarding. God's power is very real to me. And who am I doing this for? The simple answer is God and God's people, but I must be always mindful that the honest answer is more than that, but also because I want to be successful in ministry. There is some ego in that. But tonight it's not my ego that is speaking. I find myself brought to my knees in gratitude for the opportunity and prayerful that if this is where God is calling me, I will go always mindful that it isn't about me. I don't have to have all the answers, but need to trust the one who does. Is it I, Lord?