Sharing Our Hearts, Serving Together

Each month, we post a series of blogs around a common topic. This fall we’ve asked a number of leaders to respond to the question, “What is saving your ministry right now?” We invite you to join the conversation here, on Facebook, or Twitter!

By Glen Bell

Collegiality noun 1) The cooperative relationship between individuals involved in the same task or orientation.  2) Shared power and authority among persons working together.

Day after day, collegiality is saving my ministry.

glen bell collegialityEarly last Sunday morning, when another pastor was unexpectedly laid low with a virus, I asked an elder, Jane – with only fifteen minutes to spare – if she would jump in to lead worship.  With composure and joy, Jane demonstrated our common calling.

Less than a week ago, our church welcomed James, Shelby, Brandon, Leslie, Nick and Andy to Sarasota for our semi-annual Faith Focus Weekend and Pastoral Development Seminar.  All are gifted younger pastors, serving with energy, intelligence, imagination and love.  For our congregation, the seminar is an opportunity to offer hospitality. For me, it is peer learning, growing from their witness and examples.

Last Friday evening, seventy leaders from our congregation shared thoughts and ideas for our Presbyterian Church, in response to the call of Heath Rada, the Moderator of the 221st General Assembly. How can we grow together, across miles of difference and distrust?

Two weeks ago, I listened as our newly-elected elders and deacons shared their lifelong stories of trust and their convictions of Christian belief.  They openly spoke of the tragedies of losing a child, saying good-bye to a spouse, moving beyond addiction, struggling through divorce.  We became church in a new way as they shared their hearts.

We become church as we share our hearts and serve together.

Glen Bell is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Sarasota, Florida. He is a member of the NEXT Church Strategy Team.