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Learning from the Sidelines

At the end of 2020 I stepped out of my old position as Director of Ministry and to work with the Vocations Team. From some perspectives, this might look like a sideways step or even a demotion. But it’s actually been a great opportunity to learn.

First, it’s been teaching me a whole new set of skills as I meet with candidates who are exploring ordination. I’ve learned to listen more carefully and I’m trying to get better at asking questions. Meeting with men and women who are trying to discern and respond to God’s call is also a real privilege. I get to hear some lovely stories of how God has touched people’s lives, and I’ve learned so much from them.

The most interesting and informative aspect of the move, though, has been the chance to watch someone else doing the job that I used to do. I had always imagined that “my” way of doing things was the only way – or at the very least the “best” way. But now I can see alternatives. Agendas for meetings have different priorities. Things that I would’ve once done myself get delegated. Many of these differences are real improvements and I think to myself: “Well, if I were in that position again one day, I’d definitely do things like that.” It’s given me a rare gift of understanding the role from the outside. And not many of us are given that luxury.

So, while “demotion” might not be everybody’s career move of choice, for the time being I’m grateful to have had this rather unique opportunity to grow in many ways.

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