I have always believed that since God is an ever-present, ever-loving community (that’s what the Trinity is really all about), and since we are made in God’s image, we are made for community. We are not made to do this – any of this, life in general – alone. We are meant to be in this together.
Now, having said that I am a single girl and an introvert to boot. I spend a fair amount of time alone (or at least with just me and my animals). And the introvert in me craves that solitude. I not only like a day where it’s just me, Koski and Fatcat. I need it.
My vocation requires me to be in social situations. And don’t get me wrong – I love the times I spend with my congregation (whether as a whole or in specific groups). I need those times, too. It is good to be with people who believe in what I believe in, who share in prayer and song and relationship in general. But one of the ways I know that I am an introvert, is that when one of those social situations comes to an end, I am exhausted. And what I want most is to sit quietly in my house.
Despite this, one of the biggest gifts God has given me in Ministry, is the opportunity to minister as part of a team. It may seem a contradiction, but I work better in a team. I think better. There is someone I can turn to when I am second-guessing my thoughts or plans. When one of us is tired, the other can pick up the slack. Some weeks I get to actually sit in worship on a Sunday morning and listen to good preaching, and some weeks Geoff gets to sit and listen. We are, each of us, blessed on those weeks. I am so very thankful that we are in this together.
The following passage from Ecclesiastes is under the heading “The value of a friend,” in the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. Often it is read at weddings, but in this instance I mean nothing romantic or sexual by it. It is simply true that in ministry, as in most other areas of life, it is better when you don’t have to go it alone.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NRSV