The ability to drive.
A sense of direction.
The patience to sit for an hour.
I didn’t have to go to seminary for any of those. Not even a mid-career Catalyst Conference as a refresher course!
What did I do that had such a disconnect between impact achieved and skill required?
Attended one funeral and one funeral visitation.
I didn’t lead either service. No eulogy, no prayer, no suit & tie, no duty that was overtly pastoral. And for sure no great words of wisdom that brought the deceased back to life.
Just showed up.
It’s the ministry of presence and in our world where churches are at once more “mega” and more digital — as if Wesley said, “the Facebook is my parish!” — it’s a practice that is rapidly disappearing from the pastoral toolbox.
So it was refreshing to bring it back out. And to see the grateful surprise on people’s faces as they realize they matter more than sermon prep, leadership development, and, yes, blog writing.
Whatever your sphere of ministry — ordained, lay, paid, volunteer — try it out. You’ll get a large impact out of a small skill.