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Students at commencement

Ministry in Context

A few questions

I imagine you are busy about now. October calendars have a way of filling up fast for congregational servant leaders. And for many of you interns, if you began your internship in August or September, you may be just entering that phase where "I don’t know, I just got here" doesn't work anymore.

Not only that, but the people who were absolutely impressed that you remembered their names in those first few weeks (we all remember a few), are now surprised and disappointed that you don't remember their names any more. (Strange how those first names escape as you learn more new ones).

So how is your October? I hope you are reflecting and processing, despite your increasingly complicated and busy schedule. So I offer a few wonderings, in the hope that a few might fit your life right now:

Are you merging into the fast lane? If so, how will you keep your equilibrium?

Are you beginning to find a friend or two? If so, how will you build these friendships given the pastoral role?

Have you bumped up against your own assumptions/presuppositions/biases? If so, how did you respond?

Have you discovered that people actually appreciate you and your gifts?

Have you also realized the "job" is bigger than you, and always will be?

How are you translating the comfortable sinner/saint category in the classroom to the awkward sinner/saint embodiment in your ministry?

What were your September surprises? How will you process those surprises as you move into October?

What was your biggest "first-month oops?" How are you recovering from it?

What do you most appreciate about your supervisor? Have you told them?

Were there some people you initially misgauged? And what have you done about that?

Did you leave any first impressions you wish you hadn't? If so, what did you do next?

Have you spotted some likely secondary mentors beyond your supervisor? Who are they, and how will your relationship evolve?

Have you felt overwhelmed or exhausted? At those times, how did you regain your energy and joy?

Maybe that’s enough thought-provoking questions for now. I don't want to make you more tired than you already are. But I do hope you remember to breathe, process and reflect regularly, and maybe some of these can be grist for your private ponderings and/or your supervisory sessions.

Blessings! Have a great year!

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