Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ministered and Ministered To

Today at church we came out of the message with a moment where people were invited to come forward for a time of prayer with someone who has been through what they're going through.

In "The Nine" I went forward to pray with someone holding a card that said "Lost my father to cancer" A group of four of us prayed and cried and prayed some more as Margaret comforted us. It was really good medicine for my heart. I was joined by two people I know, neither of whom I knew were affected by this same hurt. I was comforted. It really made our big church feel smaller, and I love those moments.

In the "Eleventh Hour" I said yes to God and held this sign.

I say, "said yes to God" because I wasn't really wanting to hold up a sign. But felt literally prompted by God that this was an area of my life where he and I had walked many times before and it was time for me to offer some hope and encouragement to others. I had the chance to pray with 5 women, 1 is having to find a job after a divorce, one is trying to figure out how to walk the road with a friend who has announced she is lesbian, one is still navigating her own divorce and in the middle of real upheaval at her workplace, and two are taking breaks from serious relationships seeking God's direction. Talk about unwanted change. I am so grateful that I had the chance to share a brief moment with these women today. I love God's design for the local church.

I am walking a season of "unwanted change" in my own life right now. Our church announced serious budget cuts last week. This affected our staff significantly. My boss and one of my closest partners in ministry resigned her position at the church in order to keep our team as in tact as possible and two other staff positions were eliminated. These are highly capable, key people who have become ministry family.
I was able to pray today prayers of comfort through "unwanted change" because I have walked this road before. In nearly 9 years of ministry at Sunset I have said more than once... " I will build NO more meaningful relationships with people at work." I will come to work, do my job and go home.
But, this is not how things really work. I have come to understand ministry relationships in light of God's design. The Creator created things which change. We are born, we grow, we reproduce, they leave and start the cycle over. Plants grow, turn to seed, grow again. The ocean... condensation... I"m not a scientist, but you get what I'm saying... life gives life to other things, it is God's design.
It doesn't mean I like it... but I get it.

6 comments:

Tyler said...

well said, very well said.

David said...

Janet, you're such a tremendous blessing for all of us who call Sunset our home. OUR home. OUR HOME. You're there to make sure that we can worship our gracious God and have a meaningful experience and draw closer to our Creator. I think you're most definitely under appreciated. I pray for you every day - you and all the staff and ministry at our home.
I sometimes feel selfish because I get so much from worship and have only a feeble voice to offer up to God. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your sacrifices and patient endurance on our behalf.

Janet Fraser said...

Hey David, thanks. The kind of stuff we got to be a part of today... that's why I do what I do. Thanks for having the courage to share part of your story and encourage others today.

Laura said...

Janet,

I'm glad you don't stick to your "no building relationships at work" motto! :) You have always, IMHO, been an open, God's will desiring, "let's run with what we've been dealt" kinda of leader and I trust that through this change you will be no different. Praying for you, friend! Miss you!

Yonas said...

Hey I saw you holding the sign at 11 :)

Melinda said...

I am excited to read the outcome. Both Christina and I wanted to be involved with this as persons living with chronic illness/disability. God had other plans. We were too ill to attend. That did not stop us from praying for the service and its outcome, though! We would really enjoy reading from others who participated/were prayed for.