Perhaps it is an age old truth that the longer you do something, the more you realize you have to learn. I was shocked to hear myself at a recent church meeting say something like, “And I’m going on my third my year working here with these two congregations.” I feel blessed, and as my last post indicated, very much challenged in my ministry to these two churches.
The other evening I had a really revelatory conversation with a colleague at the church about a class that I am teaching in both congregations on Presbyterian Beliefs. There is so much to teach, but more importantly, there is so much for me to learn. Even though I knew the same activities in the English-speaking church wouldn’t be appropriate for the Spanish-speaking culture church and vice versa, I didn’t know which activities to choose and why. It is humbling to consider that these students at the church are accompanying me through a process where I don’t know all the answers.
It can be kind of excruciating, this inkling that you’re not quite getting the information through to the people right in front of you, because you’re constantly learning how to teach to the audience that’s in front of you, but then with the words of my colleague for encouragement, I also found a way to rejoice in this experience. What a blessing to see the diversity of God represented in my midst, and to see the multiple interpretations of the gospel through different cultural contexts. Too often we rest in the complacency and comfort of our own interpretations of scripture and theology, and we don’t get out to see that in the real world, faith really takes faith!
I believe I’m blessed to do ministry in a cross-cultural setting, even if God is only revealing this mystery to me step by step.