Although you might feel that you want to jump in straight to serve the parish, it’s best to guard your time and heart by waiting until you find the ministry that is right for you. This can be discerned from the Talents and Gifts that the Lord has given us!
What are my Talents and Gifts, How can I better serve the parish?
I have many interests. I can sing well, I’m organized and a strong leader. But that doesn’t mean I should always fill a ministry slot simply because it’s vacant. I want to use my gifts in a way that fulfills me, not just one that gives me a position or a title.
2. Identify Your Passion
If you don’t know what your calling is, it might be best to first figure out what your passion is. If you don’t know what your passions are, ask yourself the following questions:
- What wakes you up in the morning?
- Where do you find your mind drifting to most often?
- Is there an area of life that makes your heart skip a beat when you think about it or work within it?
- More than likely, there is a common thread woven through your responses. What you talk about most is also a good indicator that is where your passion lies.
- Does your church offer a ministry area that meets that passion?
If your passion is kids, would children’s church or youth group best suited for you?
If you enjoy teaching, consider teaching a Sunday school class or starting a Bible study.
3. Find out what your close friends think about you!
Are there people in your life whom you trust, perhaps a close friend or even a buddy? Well you can ask them to confirm where your Gifts and Talents lie. We might be convinced we know what our gifts are, but sometimes it takes another’s perspective to find out if that is truly where we could best spend our time.
Speak to others to confirm what your Gifts and Talents are!
Choose two to three people more spiritually mature than you to confirm or discover your gifts. If your friends can’t answer that question, then speak to a priest that you are close to.
Once your gifts are confirmed, ask if there are areas in the church in which you are best suited. You want to make sure you get this part right. There is nothing worse than stepping into the wrong ministry, only to have to let other team members down by having to quit. You and your team might suffer.
4. Try out different ministries before committing
Before you commit to a team fully, volunteer to work on task or event with them first. Watch how you interact. Do you work well together? Understanding where you fit in a team, will help you better understand and work within your role. When you volunteer for a while first, expectations are made clear and there is less room for confusion.
5. Be willing to leave your comfort zone
A biblical example of working outside of our comfort zone is Caleb who, when it would have been time to retire, actually geared up for God to move him even more powerfully.
Joshua 14: 10-12 says:
“Just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years, so here I am today, eighty-five years old!” “I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day.”
As we age, trying new things may become scarier with each passing year. But Caleb was not afraid to take on a new adventure for the Lord. He understood who he was and that God would give him what he needed, even in his old age.