Saturday, 8 September 2012

Para-church ministry: Challenge 1, number of relationships (from Jenny's blog)

Jenny's blog is terrific. No-one would ever accuse her of gilding the ministry lily:

Para-church ministry: Challenge 1, number of relationships:
A bit of background.  I'm married to a church minister, but he doesn't work for a church.  He works for a not-for-profit organisation that supports the ministry of Christian students on a university campus.  He is responsible for a team of about 20 full time staff members and is responsible for ensuring that the funds for this organisation are raised to pay everyone.  He also works closely with the student leadership of the group which at the moment has about 800 students involved.

Here's my first challenge about this type of ministry (nice way of say 'big fat whinge' but anyhoo, off we go).

I am on the introverted end of the spectrum but we have A LOT of different groups of people in our life that we are involved in.  The ministry is large and busy and totally people orientated.  We have our family (which is large and busy and people-orientated!).  We also go to our local church (which is thankfully not too large, but is also people-orientated).  We have two schools full of relationships that our kids attend that we're keen to be involved with (it will be three schools next year).  I have a job that is people-focussed.

Consequently we find it really hard to get up the energy to go to extra things like parties or social events.

Consequently I am regularly paralysed by guilt by how bad I am at keeping up with all the different people in our life.  I permanently carry a feeling of being a disappointing friend to many.

If I gave up working I could potentially do more, but contributing financially to our family does help make staying in this type of ministry more viable for the long-term.

And if I did stop working I could potentially do more in the ministry but I don't feel that I would actually be very good at it.  Not putting myself down.  I'm 40.  I've tried.   Just because I'm married to someone who is, doesn't automatically make me great at it.  And I'm pretty confident that I would drive Rowan totally mad with my helpful 'suggestions' ;)

I find this so tricky.  I'm still waiting for someone to give me the magic solution that will make me feel at peace about this issue.

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