Finish line…

Sitting here listening to some music from Hillsong and numerous other artists, I realize I’m just under two weeks from finishing my first year of seminary. Although the normal run is three years, I am currently planning on taking four, mostly for sanity sake, as well as to give myself more time for discernment.

This morning, instead of going to my home church, I visited the church at which I will be interning year as a student pastor. It’s a much more traditional congregation in comparison to what I’m used to, which I must admit, scares me. I’m scared to be authentic, to be real about my faults and my flaws. I’m nervous about preaching, even though I’ve been told I have a preacher’s heart. I’m anxious about all of the little details to which I must pay close attention. Most of all, while hopeful, I’m worried that the church will not change in the area in which I need it to change the most – its stance on inclusivity.

More and more, almost as a fallback, I just want to go into chaplaincy. I can deal with the hard questions posed by those in dire circumstances. I can handle death and disease, quite well actually. I’m not sure I can handle the demands placed on me by the same group of people for the time span of several years. In that respect, I feel week, inadequate. I can take care of one, two, five people. But 60+ unnerves me… a lot.

I realize that next year will help me grow accustomed to serving a church on my own, or even in the context of being an associate pastor. I’m excited to see what I’m made of. All fears, anxieties, concerns, and worries aside, I am sure I will do fine. If I can handle serving a church while being in seminary, then I can handle it outside those cold stone walls and wooden rafters. I know at the end of it all, I’ll be just fine… at least, I hope so…

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~ by Michael O. on May 1, 2011.

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