It’s always dangerous to walk into an environment and assume you know everything already. A mindset that I tried to avoid in coming to Urban Hope was one that reflected a pride due to my (limited) urban ministry experience. I’ve taken a few classes and have some experience in ministry but I don’t know everything there is to know about the hood. I wanted to come to Urban Hope with a desire to learn from people who’ve lived here for years.
But what I’ve learned is that I can take that being willing to learn thing to far. Being willing to learn does not mean that I hide my gifts and talents. God has gifted me in many ways. That’s not prideful to say, that’s a reality that I need to embrace. Furthermore, I need to take those gifts and talents and apply them to the situation that God has placed me in. In this case it would be the ministry here at Urban Hope. So I can still have a teachable spirit and also use what talents God has given me.
This may sound simple to you but it’s something I’m still learning to work through. It’s like sometimes I take humility too far because I struggle with pride. In the Prison Epistles class I’m taking this summer, I’m studying Philippians right now. And in that book we see the beautiful picture of Jesus humbling Himself, forsaking His heavenly rights for us. But something Dr. Gombis said in his lecture notes that stood out to me was that humility is not denying your gifts and talents. If you’re like me, if someone compliments you on something you’re good at, you start to feel awkward or immediately give God credit. Now don’t get me wrong, God is the giver of every gift and He does deserve all the glory. However that does not mean that we deny those gifts. For example, I’m good at percussion. It’s ok for me to recognize that gift and use it for the glory of God.
Again, maybe all of this is elementary for you, but I’m just learning what it means to be an effective minister. Being here at Urban Hope, I’ve been stretched and humbled in a lot of ways. I’m being challenged with things I need to work on and affirmed in things I’m good at.
Continue to pray for Urban Hope and the ministry here. Pray for me and the rest of interns (Molly, Margaret and Julie). Pray for boldness and courage as we share our faith and reach out to others.
You are all appreciated!