I used the above topic (Flying in Formation) for a couple of years as I presented retreats to a number of parish staffs. It is of the utmost importance for those of us in ministry to know ourselves. What are our strengths? What are our weaknesses? How is our relationship with Jesus Christ? How well do we pray? It is my opinion that we must know ourselves so we are able to recognize the opportunities for growth that come our way.
As ministers experience growth in their own lives, they have more to offer the people under their pastoral care. A person's encounter with the living God through prayer and the sacramental life of the Church empowers the individual to be an intentional disciple and faithful witness of Jesus Christ. How awesome is that! If we , as ministers, have had that encounter with God, it gives credibility to the message we share with others. We aren't just pushing some theoretical proposition. We are sharing a lived experience. How would that impact the Church if our ministers were all operating out of that lived experience?
As we grow deeper in faith, hope, and love, it is important for us to take God's message out to the world. We don't keep the Good news of Salvation to ourselves. We are sent forth to share it to the ends of the earth. This is especially true for anyone who has taken on a ministerial role at the parish. There is a deep responsibility that comes to the minister who has the privilege of serving God's people in a formal manner as a member of the parish staff or team.
It is my prayer that each of us seek the grace of God to live up to our individual responsibilities well. Whatever roles we have--whether as a paid staff member or as a volunteer--let us truly build the Kingdom of God! We have a magnificent opportunity to be the light of Christ to others. Don't miss the chance to shine!