One of the things I'm supposed to be doing while I'm on Iona (this would be a self-imposed "supposed to," but it needs to get done) is answering a question for a grant application, about the barriers and inhibitions that keep me from being fully alive to and for my vocation of ministry. Now doesn't that just sound fun. My initial thoughts on this are a bit much for a grant application, so for now they're going here.
I can identify two major personal inhibitions. The first is simple fear of failure, that I will try something big and it will be a disaster, and I will no longer feel a sense of my own competence. That self-definition takes up a pretty big part of the "who I am" pie chart, and the loss of it would do something truly devastating to me. Of course, living in fear of falling off that precipice, such that I never really try anything big, isn't so great either, or terribly competent. Which is why I make myself do at least one small thing that makes me feel a little stupid or afraid every day, but that's another post for another day.
Second, I fear that someone might actually take me for a minister. That is, I fear that ministry will so subsume me that I will become all the things that really annoy me in other clergy and in the church (some of which I have already become....grrr). I fear that I will stop pushing buttons, or only push the ones that don't matter. That I will stop playing music because it's just too hard to have a gig on Saturday night and preach on Sunday morning. That I won't have time to spend with street kids and sex workers and my friends, because committee meetings start being more important. That I won't be fun or interesting, and I'll stop having anything to say to anyone outside of the church (which seriously, THIS IS ALREADY HAPPENING).
But enough about me.
I also struggle with the persistent sense that the church as we know it is not long for this world, and that maybe the way we know it needs to die, because that's the only way resurrection happens. Learning new forms to express the same old things seems futile and self-serving. New liturgies and new programs are not going to transform the world. New life, new ways of being and believing, maybe. I love the church, but I don't want to be about administering life support to a comatose institution. But I don't know how to lead toward really radical change, change that may mean death of what we know and hold dear.
Okay, that was still about me. But the fact is, I'm experiencing some disorientation at the moment, so I'm kind of in my own head to an excessive extent, and also, this is my blog, so I get to write about myself.