I've been challenged by a lot lately.
I took Alan Hirsch's APEST Test and discovered, much to my surprise, that I'm an EP. I'll let you have a look at his site to understand exactly what that means, but suffice it to say it's not at all what I'd expected. And as a result I had a minor identity crisis.
I'm ok now.
I also attended a conference where I discovered that I ought to think of myself not just as an artist and musician, but as a curator of environments that facilitate spiritual formation for large groups of people. It's a mouthful, I know, so maybe read that last one again. A worship artist is not just someone who arbitrarily picks songs and throws them together with a band or choir, but rather, is a storyteller. I have discovered that a big part of my calling is to use the mediums of music, service flow, and all the pieces that fit together to tell a story that helps people connect with God and with one another.
I've also been coming to terms with the truth that I am an introvert. We live in a culture that strongly values, even idolizes, extroversion. The people who get paid the most, the people who seem to be the most trusted, the people who draw our praise and admiration are extroverts (or are introverts who can fake it). But I'm learning that introversion is a badly needed gift to our culture, because introverts can give the gift of silence.
The three of these minor revelations have helped me make more sense of my calling as a full-time minister (I would say 'pastor,' but given how low I scored on pastor/shepherd-type on the APEST test, it's not entirely an appropriate term for me in that context), and more importantly, how my unique personality and passions can flesh-out my calling.
I'm not, for example, ever going to be the most amazing people-person. I'm awkward in groups, and in my rush to try to say something to contribute, can often stumble over my words or say something I didn't really mean to say. But the introverted/large-group-discipler/Evangelist-Prophet in me can contribute to the ministry of the Church in my own way.
As such, I've started writing a lot more. Two places in particular have taken the bulk of that, and I've really enjoyed embracing this newfound freedom to be the me that God made. One blog is for our current sermon series (though it may continue past that in some form or other, we'll see), currently called Revolutionary Promises (updated weekly). In it, I get to reflect on the sermon of the sunday prior. Currently, our pastors are preaching through the Sermon on the Mount. It's hard, it's deep, and it's incredibly rewarding to write about.
The other place is one that I've found equally, if not more fulfilling. Our denomination's worship artists have a facebook group called "Better Together" and, coupled with that, a presence on the denomination's website, called Worship Connect. For a while, nobody really posted on that page, but then a good friend of mine suggested that four of us take the month and post weekly. I get the fourth week of the month, and to be honest, I've never had nothing to say; the words always come, and I love it.
Thanks for reading.