I have been considering the impact that our words have on others, both in conversation and in this online magazine, and trying to figure out how much we should evaluate our words and actions out of respect for others.
I have been attending the School for Lay Ministries with the Methodist Church for a few months, and I have just today started a job as a youth pastor at our church. The ministry, in general, is a position that requires constant evaluation of your actions and your impact. I like that about the job, and I embrace the opportunity to challenge my actions.
I am , however, my own person. I have my own humor, my own interests and abilities, and my own values and opinions. It becomes difficult to find a balance between considering your impact and understanding that others are responsible for themselves. I am responsible for finding creative ways to engage the youth and to nurture the spiritual development of the young in our congregation, but that doesn’t mean that everyone has to like me and think that I am funny. I have to respect others values and their right to an intimate experience at the church, but I have to find a way to live out my design and to tell my own story.
This is a tricky subject that requires a lot of revisiting and discussion. I am interested in what everyone has to offer about the ways that we can be effective at our jobs and in our lives and maintain respect for our neighbors, coworkers, and families.
It is easy to point fingers at others for not understanding us and to justify our actions based on our individuality, but we cannot grow unless we are willing to challenge ourselves. And for that, we need the input of others.