>Turn What You Have Into What You Want

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Small White butterfly (Pieris rapae)Image via Wikipedia

Been doing some thinking about TRANSFORMATION in life…not only because I want to see some changes in my life and ministry (as I think I always should)…but also because the people I’m in ministry with and the people I’m friends with are at places in their lives where they are questioning marriages, jobs, how they’re raising children, their finances, etc.  It’s part of life.  It’s part of growing up and  growing older and having your friends and your relationships do the same.  And it’s partly due to the economic situation in which we find ourselves these days.

I know a lot of persons who are UNSATISFIED, who are UNFULFILLED, who are UNHAPPY, or who are just stuck in a RUT and they KNOW it.  They long for a “resurrection…” a transformation…a change.

So, it is with interest that I read “Turn the Ministry You Have Into the Ministry You Want” over at The Gospel Coalition. The blog post By Dr. David Murray of Puritan Reformed Seminary takes from the Harvard Business Review an article called “Turn the Job You Have Into the Job You Want.”  It’s originally by Yale Professor Amy Wrzesniewski and I think it’s more than a “when life gives you lemons make lemonade” philosophy of life.  It’s more than looking at your present (perhaps hopeless or unsatisfying) job or situation with rose-colored glasses.  It’s about actually transforming your present situation into something different…not just pretending that it’s different or pretending that the bad stuff of your situation isn’t there.  

When looking at a job, Wrzesniewski says try changing one of these three things:

1. Tasks. You can alter your job by taking on more or fewer tasks, different types of tasks, or by simply changing the way you do the tasks you currently have.
2. Relationships. Change the nature and degree to which you interact with others. Take on a mentee, or spend more time getting to know people in other departments.
3. Perception. Think about your job in a different way. If there are parts you don’t like, separate them from the parts you do like. See your job as two jobs: one that you must do, and one that you enjoy doing.
The original author sees this as a tool to reenergize your work life.  “It involves redefining your job to incorporate your motives, strengths, and passions. The exercise prompts you to visualize the job, map its elements, and reorganize them to better suit you. In this way, you can put personal touches on how you see and do your job, and you’ll gain a greater sense of control at work…”
Well, how then does that relate to what some of my friends are going through?  Have they really looked at the tasks and relationships and perceptions they have about their work?  Have I?
I know that, as it pertains to Girdwood Chapel ministry, I’m pretty good at itineration–supporting our mission–and that it is very necessary.  However, I’m becoming more clear that my passions are lying elsewhere and I need to see how I can get that task and my passions to come together.  I also know that there are relationships which need attention–because it would make me a better pastor and a better person. 

Thanks to The Gospel Coalition and Dr. David P. Murray for bringing this to my attention.

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