Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sweeping Thoughts....

Mark and I have been spending lots of time lately searching, reading, talking and exploring our idea of ministry and how to best lead a church body toward their goals. As I was sweeping the floor and praising God (because I always try to worship as I clean house....I know, awkward thought at first...but it works out great once you process it....), I realized that relationships are the root of all that we do in ministry. If you want a people to love and worship God and have an ongoing, loving relationship with God, then they must first know how to love and accept themselves for what God made them to be. Otherwise, they find little understanding in the act of worship because they are continually viewing God as Other and disconnected from themselves.

A healthy relationship with oneself is vital to the process and can manifest itself not only in self-acceptance, but also in making it a priority to care for one's body, soul and mind. Freeing ourselves from the bondage of past hurts and failures and learning how to encourage ourselves in a respectful and non-punishing way are key to moving forward. So often times, I hear people wanting to deny themselves of any time or attention so that they may better serve God and others. But that can only last so long before the entire Tower begins to topple. On the other hand, I hear people who are so absorbed in themselves that there is little connection to others or God. That won't work either.

So I guess my understanding is that it is necessary as individuals and as a body of Christ to get our minds, our bodies and our spirits in order so that we can move on to a truer kind of worship than most of us have probably ever experienced before. It is a kind of worship that is enhanced with others while in a public sanctuary, but whose root really lies in the inner-workings of your life, your inner personal relationships and your growth experiences. You have a true reason to be thankful and to give God praise, and you are ready to band together with others to serve your God and others in a fresh and meaningful way.

I think most of my ministry focuses on these areas of personal relationships and growth experiences. I have never really been able to pinpoint why I felt so called to these areas, especially since I communicate with others in this area in a sideways fashion. I offer ministries in the areas of the creative arts as a vehicle that encourages people to open up and share. When your hands are busy and you are encouraged by others, your mind is free to ponder things that aren't usually as easy to think about. The creative process frees the spririt to want to soar and pushes the mind to see new possibilities. I am sure there are plenty of other ways to bring people to the point of wanting to make changes in their lives and seeing that all changes really are just a series of baby steps. This is just the process that seems the most natural to me. And now I am understanding how it all fits into the larger goals of being a worshipful and serving church.

Just wanted to share the thoughts I had while I was sweeping. Grin. Watch out, I am about to vacuum! Another grin.

Then I think I am going to go into town and reward myself with a skein of sock yarn. If you haven't heard, I am seriously obsessed with learning how to knit socks. Mismatched, bright and fun socks like these....

Why? Well, the creative process frees the mind to soar, right? It helps you to see things in a new way. Makes perfect sense right now when we are processing our move. Plus doing things that are really, really hard (which socks are really, really hard for me right now!) makes all the other things on your To Do Before We Move List seem much easier. I'll show you the sock yarn when I get back. Maybe you'll be inspired to create something!

As always, feel free to comment.

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