Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wrestling with Insecurity

I have insecurity problems. The good thing is, I'm in good company--or so I'm told. I am told that a great many people who are in ministry also have some issues with insecurity. Perhaps the biggest reason for this is because what we are doing is so very important and we are surrounded by so many people who have been specifically gifted and called for such a vocation. We have trouble seeing in ourselves the great things we see in our peers. I sit in network meetings and attend events and gatherings with others who share my vocation, and I can't help but feel out of place. Surely these folks are good at what they do and they do so much more than I can do. They enjoy doing things that I have to force myself to do. It is easy for me to see why they belong in Youth Ministry, I have no problem seeing the gifts of others. it's my own gifting that's difficult to see. Once I feel "gifted" at something, it's just a matter of time before I experience some failure in just that area and I'm back to the drawing board. I question, "am I really called to this...?"

This is and has been one of my greatest struggles in life and ministry. I constantly question my calling and my gifting and yet I can seldom imagine doing anything else. Of course there are elements of ministry that flat-out suck, but I love it... I just don't always feel good at it. I suppose that's the beauty of "calling." It implies sheer passivity on my part right up to the point of response. The calling is not my choice, only whether or not I accept it. I have often expressed hesitation about the word "calling." I realize that it can be abused and exploited as objective justification for subjective decisions. I realize that it is a strong word, but in regards to its' implications regarding my capacity to choose, I think it's appropriate and, at it's best, quite liberating. If I'm called to this, then I've got no business second guessing my gifting. It is just not my job to worry about how good I am at it, it's only my job to do the best with what I've got.

As soon as we begin comparing ourselves to others, we've missed the point. It's not about you. It's not about me. It is and always has been only about Jesus Christ and God's work in the world. The river of God's love is flowing with or without us, we need only to ride the current with courage and passion. As soon as we say, "what about them?" Christ, in love and boldness, responds to us, "what is that to you? Just follow me" (John 21:22).

Feel better? No, me neither. But it's a start.

3 comments:

knabe189 said...

Wes,
Thanks for such a great post. I think you will realize pretty quickly the deeper you venture down the rabbit hole of ministry that insecurity is far more prevalent within those who minister then you could ever imagine.
I was going to give you a rebuking but luckily you redeemed yourself in the second half of this post. You have been called... period. Its not up to you, you don't need any gifts on your own. The One who has called you gives everything needed to love. Nothing more... nothing less. (Just like mana from heaven! ;-)
It is truly a pleasure and blessing to be a friend, colleague in ministry, and the greatest pleasure... a brother in Christ.

In Christ's Service,
Jeremiah

WES ELLIS said...

Thanks so much Jeremiah! Thanks for the encouraging words. I'm glad I redeemed myself. A Jeremiah rebuking would have been intimidating :-)

Thanks,
Wes

TheComebackkid said...

I would pay to see a Wes vs. Jeremiah rebuking. Two Mainline Wrestler's going at it!

From one Wes to another, you are great at what you do and I enjoy watching you continue to grow into maturity in ministry. Continue to walk with that tension and be relieved by your calling.