However, during the last 19 months, I have been more keenly aware of the unique role played by our clergy and our entire staff team. The social isolation of Covid pushed us all into smaller bubbles of human interaction and my bubble included our staff. I saw how each of them faced their own family and personal challenges due to Covid: caring for kids out of school and aging parents; feeling the sting of social isolation. And I saw them pivot about every two to six weeks to find new ways of creatively reaching out to offer spiritual guidance to a congregation worried and uncertain about the future. And so my already deep affection for them and my appreciation for their faithful service deepened.
Watching our staff team at work, not from a position of strength but from a position of brokenness, reminded me of the real reason I finally said yes to the call to become a minister. I never really thought that I was good enough to be God’s servant. But one day I realized it was not about being good enough. It was about being real. About being vulnerable. About being human, flaws and all. The miracle of God is that God loves through ordinary humans.
Which takes me back to my uncomfortableness with that “week of the ministry.” Every week is ministry. And everyone Christian is a minister. I like how James C. Howell puts it in his book Servants, Misfits and Martyrs.
Saints do not possess an extra layer of muscle. They are not taller, and they do not sport superior IQs. They are not richer, and their parents are not more clever than yours or mine. They have no batlike perception that enables them to fly in the dark. They are flesh and blood, just like you and me, no stronger, no more intelligent. And that is the point. They simply offer themselves to God, knowing that they are not the elite, fully cognizant that they are inadequate to the task, that their abilities are limited and fallible.