A Year Ago…

It was one year ago today that I announced on this blog that I would be leaving the world of school counseling to join my church staff on a full-time basis. I was super excited about the opportunity that had been presented to me.

One year later, I’m no less excited about what I’m doing each and every day.

In the last year, I’ve learned a great deal about the work that I’m doing, as well as about myself. I’ve become a part of a staff team that I don’t just think of as co-workers. I think of them as friends. I think of them as family. I love them like family.

Staff meetings, lunches, even the days when I’m just hanging out in my shared office are incredibly entertaining and rarely uneventful. In the last year, I have laughed harder and more often during work hours than I can ever remember laughing in any previous job I’ve held.

But that almost makes it sounds like, as a church staff, we’re just having fun and not getting things done. Believe me, we get things done.

I recently heard about someone who was almost in shock when she found out that church staff work during the week, not just on Sundays. I’d be willing to bet there are a lot of people who believe a church staff only works on Sunday. Monday through Saturday are not actually meant for relaxing and going to the movies.

I keep busy. So much of the time. It’s easy to do, considering I basically have three jobs wrapped up in one. I’m still loving every aspect of my job. But the one that has surprised me is the one I knew the least about when I began last year: Stephen Ministry.

Stephen Ministry is a caregiving ministry that pairs people who are going through difficult times with folks who are trained to walk with them, listen to them, and basically show the love of Christ for as long as they are needed. I was nervous about taking over this ministry when I came on staff. But in learning more about it, and in meeting with our team of caregivers, I have come to look forward to each of our monthly supervision meetings.

Before I accepted my position, Jeff explained that it was possible that the job was only going to last a year. The Creative Content side of things was experimental for Northstar. I can’t speak for all of the powers that be, but I’m fairly certain it’s an experiment that has paid off.

When someone recently asked me what my five year plan was, I told them I was living it. I’m not thinking about what could come next for me. Because I’m happy with where I am. I’m happy with what I’m doing. I’m contributing to something much larger than myself in a positive way. And if I could do this for the rest of my life, I would be content to do so.

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6 thoughts on “A Year Ago…

  1. I read this post in my email and for some reason didn’t respond right away. Hahaha I just checked the date again and if you read my post from today, this may be the missing link to my August 11th. At any rate, a day or two after I read your post, I saw an announcement in our church bulletin that we would be starting a Stephen Ministry at our church and there was an informational, introductory session. I hope to be a Stephen minister at our church. Part of my prayer over this decision was based on the fact that I first read about it a minute before on your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s awesome! I actually just finished leading a training this weekend with a couple people at my church. It’s funny, when I started the job, I had no idea what Stephen Ministry was, but it’s grown to become one of my favorite areas to lead. You’ll have to let me know what you think if you go through the training.

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      • I had never heard of it until your post. I have my first interview after my application. We have a big parish and only a certain number of slots to begin with. We are doing the training under the auspices (I don’t really know how it works yet so that might not be the right word) of a protestant church not too far away in Connecticut. 3 parishioners and our pastor had training in Pittsburgh and they are spearheading the program in our church community. So many people are interested and they want to be true of a real commitment to help with a Christ-based center….you know so much more about it than I so I don’t know why I’m even going through this explanation lol. But my interview is tomorrow. I’ve prayed about it a lot and really want to do it and think it is a good fit with me an vice-versa. I will keep praying. If God wants me to do this, I will do it! I’m so glad you like it. Reading your post and then finding out about it showed me that reading your post was a little sign for me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I love the idea of working with other churches to do the training. I actually just met with the new pastor of a local Methodist church who went through Stephen Leader training years ago and would like to begin a Stephen Ministry at their church. He was talking about the possibility of joining forces to do training, that way the three individual churches in the area that offer it aren’t just doing training for 2 or 3 participants each. I’d totally be on board with that. Because it would probably mean I wouldn’t have to lead the entire thing, too.

          Liked by 1 person

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