It's Like I've Done This Before
A few weeks ago a friend of mine came to hear me preach for the first time. I'm not sure what he expected. I've been doing this for over 10 years now but I don't preach every Sunday. Furthermore, this person is Catholic and my preaching style is very different from many of the priests that I've heard before.
When I was done, I went over to him to make him feel welcome and thank him for coming. He said that he enjoyed it and told me, "You've done this before huh?". I always enjoy someone telling me I did a good job but this one really made my day. Many years ago his statement wouldn't have held much water. I was just getting started and learning what my style is. I'm just now getting into a groove with how to speak about things deeply spiritual and make them deeply personal.
But its not just with my preaching that I'm noticing a difference. It is all aspects of my ministry. Perhaps I'm just getting older but I'm able to really enjoy all aspects of ministry without getting tied down in the learning curve of how to do things.
I've learned several things that have helped me get to this point:
1) Learn by doing: The more you do something, the more your experience shows
2) Take good notes: If you don't do something on a regular basis, take good notes so that the next time it comes around you won't have to reinvent the wheel. I find this particularly helpful on mission trips and retreats. I have packing lists for both and it makes it much easier to remember that you'll need work gloves on a mission trip and pepto bismol during Confirmation retreat - where teenagers eat in abundance and the adults try to copy them.
3) Teach others how: This is the most often forgotten piece of the puzzle. Teaching others helps me to reinforce the ideas I already know; it gives me a fresh and creative perspective from someone else; and it ensures that when I'm unable to do this task in the future - someone else will.
So get out there and try something you've never done before and before long you'll be saying, "It's like I've done this before."
Until Everyone Hears,