I mentioned that January’s theme seemed to be “hurry up and wait“. As March comes to an end, it seems as if the wait is over.
On the work front, business picked up and I was able to complete a couple of outstanding projects as well as a couple of new ones. The thing that I’m most excited about though is that Reggie and I are changing our volunteer ministry roles. For the last couple of years, we have been helping out with the campus ministry of our church. That has been super fun and fulfilling. I love the campus students’ enthusiasm, energy, and honesty. It was also a great opportunity for my family to get to know the Queens region overall while working with a smaller group. (We were still relatively new to the Queens ministry after moving from the Manhattan ministry that I had been with for over 20 years.)
Reggie and I enjoy working with groups of any size – from a few people to hundreds of people. Before working with the Queens campus, we had been leading a large group of Manhattan singles. Now, we will be working with an even larger group in a new role. Basically, we are going to be overseeing the “from cradle to campus” group. We will be working together with the children’s ministry leaders, pre-teen leaders, young teen leaders and the teen workers to make sure that all of those areas are being their best. It’s a lot of work but we are excited.
The two main lessons that I’ve learned during this waiting period are patience and surrender.
1. Patience: God had put a desire to work more closely with the youth and family ministry (pre-teens, young teens, and teens) on Reggie and my hearts at the end of last year. We thought that we would be able to do so in addition to helping campus. That ended up not being the best plan. The addition of the younger children’s ministry was a better fit. (There are only so many hours in a day!) Reggie and I had actually worked with the youth and family ministry as volunteer leaders back when we were dating so it’s kind of crazy that we are now parents of a pre-teen and a teen. Time really does fly! Anyway, when something is on my heart, my mind goes into overdrive. Having helped various ministries over the last couple of decades, I’m aware that it takes time for people to work well together so we wanted to get to work right away. Ministry changes take time though so we had to wait until all of the pieces fell into place before making the change “official”. The timing actually worked out really well though because we have been working with the teen workers for the last two months. We’re all (pretty much) on the same page vision-wise, so Reggie and I can now focus on working more closely with the other group leaders.
2. Surrender (another word for faith): At one point, when we were trying to figure out what would be our next best volunteer ministry role, the question came up regarding whether or not full-time ministry would be the best option for Reggie and I. Now, I have always been convinced that I am more of a “Paul” type of ministry person – someone who works a day job to support my family and ministry and simply do ministry work out of love. Besides, as I mentioned during the conversations, “I don’t want a boss!” I had to let all of that go and be open to the possibility that God might have a different plan for my life. Fortunately, when my heart changed, it turned out that it’s not necessary for us to go into the full-time ministry at this point in time. Since I have a flexible work schedule and Reggie works as a teacher, our schedules work really well with a family ministry. (Yes…surrender doesn’t mean that you don’t have a preference!)
In any event, I’m excited to see what will be built over the next couple of years.
Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. – Psalm 127:1
Now that the wait is over, it’s time to pray, pray, pray, pray, pray AND work, work, work, work, work! 🙂