By: Cassidhe Hart
August 13, 2013
As one of the only young adults in my local church and as an ordination candidate not yet immersed in the community of seminary, I have often felt isolated in my ministry calling and disconnected from the voices of prophetic young leaders. Recent frustrating leadership and learning experiences have conditioned me to rearrange the expectations I have of my colleagues, my leaders, and even myself, while at the same time I have longed for the chance to move outside myself and into deeper connections and conversations. It was in this space of aloneness and discouragement that I entered the Leaders in Ministry cohort meeting Sunday night.
“We are not called to walk alone in our vocations, but sometimes unknown terrains blind us to the people who walk with us.”
We opened our time by reading pieces of a written Conversation Covenant and speaking them into the room. We were then invited to add any pieces we felt were missing. As my peers began to voice their additions, I felt the overwhelming desire to cry with relief. I could hear their passion, commitment, and thoughtfulness as they articulated their ideas for how to be present to one another. And when we began to share our contexts and our callings, I felt almost giddy with the hope that rose up in me.
We are not called to walk alone in our vocations, but sometimes unknown terrains blind us to the people who walk with us. These next couple of days will serve as a reminder to me that God calls us as a whole church, a whole body, to build God’s kingdom in the world. When God tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 that “I know the plans I have for you […] plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” theses are not words spoken to a singular person. It was a prophetic moment given to the plural community of Israelite exiles who were waiting for reconciliation with their God and their promised land.
Here at the FTE conference, I am reminded that the work God is doing in me is also the work God is doing in the larger Body of Christ, and I am not placed on my vocational path alone. God is calling each of us out of our isolating exiles and into the promise of being a people redeemed to transform the world. In this place of ministry exploration, I am encountering a multi-directional crossroads. As I sit down here on the edge of the road to think and wrestle and pray awhile, I notice all the people who are waiting with me, and I am encouraged. I see God’s presence in the calls they, too, are thinking about, wresting with, and praying into. The Holy Spirit working in them and in our connection gives me the strength to pursue, once again, the hope and the future into which Christ calls his people.