I’ve been serving our synod as a layperson on the Candidacy Committee for the past two years. I feel very much like a rookie, surrounded by theology professors, persons with MDiv’s, and most with at least a post-graduate degree. When first asked to serve, I declined the offer because I knew I had no gifts to bring to this committee. Perhaps I didn’t see my gifts as clearly as others did.
As we encourage candidates to discern their call, all of us must discern our own call to this committee as well. I and the candidates struggle with what the Holy Spirit is saying to each of us—the inner call. We ask the same questions of ourselves as we do the candidates, ever fearful of the answers. If we listen to the answers we must move forward into that call. What gifts we recognize in others we often fail to recognize within ourselves. The candidates have also silently drawn me into a discernment process in my call to the Church.
The candidates are embarking on a journey that will change lives. I’m not sure I would be so brave. They are truly empowered by the Holy Spirit. Candidates are more introspective in their faith journey than most people are in any facet of their personal lives.
Consider the gift of ministry to serve the greater Church. Don’t be just a Sunday morning participant in your local congregation. Ministries of service are varied and only limited by your imagination. Support a YAGM (find out what this is!), call together a colleague group, become a lay leader. The possibilities are endless!
I’ve been gifted. I am gifted. I wish for you during this Christmas season an abundance of gifts! Be a gift-giver and receiver when considering your service ministry to the larger Church!
Syd Brinkman, of Allison, Iowa, serves on the churchwide executive board.