Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Workshopping the devotional

This evening, I'm in charge of the devotion for the first meeting of the new Stephen Ministry class at St. Luke's. Which means I need to come up with a five-minute story that relates somehow to Stephen Ministry and shares insight into my own personal faith journey.

Or whatever.

So I'm thinking of telling this story and sharing this reflection. If you read this before 5:30pm today, let me know what you think! Otherwise, you may keep your big trap shut, as I will have already done it. (Haha, of course. You may share with me your thoughts at any time, because I'm cool like that.)

A few weeks ago, a young man named Michael Conley gave a kind of capstone organ recital at St. Luke's before heading off to DePauw for college. Michael grew up at St. Luke's and has been pursuing organ studies for several years; his recital included some very difficult classical music and some really cool other stuff.

At the end-of-concert reception, I was walking around, greeting the people I knew and getting to know the interesting-looking ones I didn't know, because that's how I roll after an organ recital.

I happened to bump into Bob Tharp, who was the Head Youth Guy at St. Luke's when I was a youth, 20+ years ago. We chatted for a bit and I mentioned how talented Michael is and what a blessing his music has been to our faith family.

Bob agreed, of course, and then looked me right in the eye and said, without a hint of irony, "Scott, you are as talented as Michael, just in different areas."

In the moment, I think I said something like, "Wow, thanks," and made my way to the next person to meet-and-greet, but Mr. Tharp's words have really stuck with me, especially as I've struggled in the past year or so with job stuff and the self-esteem challenges that come with being unemployed or underemployed for a long time. But I think his words illustrate what the Apostle Paul meant when he said to the Thessalonians, "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing."

We are called to encourage one another and build one another up. And our role as Stephen Ministers is one way to live out that calling. Throughout the next six months of weekly classes, we'll be encouraging one another -- not to be more than we are, but to be ourselves fully, living out our calling to serve God and serve others, using the talents that God has given us and the example Jesus gave us.

Let's pray: Creator and Friend, you have led us here, each of us for a different reason, from a different place, but we journey together in Your service. Open our ears and our hearts to You and to each other, and lead us forward in a community of loving support. In the name of Christ, our brother, we pray. Amen

1 comment:

Amy said...

What a cool experience for you. Prayers that your ministry gets off to a great start.