“If you ever find yourself seeing your ministry as work rather than worship, take a step back”
These words came of my mouth seamlessly as I gave some advice to first year seminary friends about their upcoming transition to second year. And yet I had to laugh. Because the advice was really for me. Second year of seminary is a bear for a lot of reasons. These were reasons I knew about but didn’t really know until a few weeks ago, which, yes, is too late because second year is now officially over.
So now I’m in this reflective phase, taking inventory of my growth and struggles and excitements for what’s ahead. I’m making lists (I’m still me after all so of course lists are involved) of things that went well, things I’d like to keep pursuing, things I’d like to add on, things I want or need to do differently. And I laughed to myself on Sunday as I did the welcome at my church, explaining how important worship is and what a joy it is for me as a pastor and as a fellow worshipper, because I realized all of my reflections can be summed up in that one sentence advice I gave to friends a few weeks ago: If you ever find yourself seeing your ministry as work rather than worship, take a step back.
This year has brought so many challenges and delights and incredible lessons. I have never worked so hard in my life. But I realized I do not want that to be how I feel as I reflect again a year from now. I don’t want to champion myself for working really hard. I want to celebrate a year of ministry and worship. I want to celebrate a year of becoming a better pastor, better friend, better partner, better student, better follower of Christ. I want to celebrate my life’s calling, not just my life’s work.
I don’t know if this resonates with anyone else. I could imagine we all need a reminder that we are more than just work. But even if I’m the only one, I am excited by the opportunity to continue to delight in my calling and truly worship.

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