Its been 18 years since I have been in center ministry. While Jane and I are co-ministers, each half-time, but together fulfilling one paid position, we got clear that it is important that we eachSHARED ROLE focus on our passions with respect to the role of senior minister. During one of my Center Updates, I shared how Jane and I have divided up the responsibilities of the senior minister role. We thought it helpful for the congregation to understand  the many areas of responsibility that constitutes the job of minister. Most people only imagine the minister’s job as speaking on Sundays,  teaching classes, visiting the homebound, and conducting the occasional wedding, memorial, or christening.

As you can see, once all of the duties and responsibilities are mapped out, the Venn diagram illustrates that Jane and I are only doing the things we are passionate about. With everything on Jane’s side, I am either not good at, or just barely, or can do, but with little passion. And vice versa for Jane with my stuff.

The congregation as well as the leadership found this helpful both in understanding the distribution of responsibilities as well as in appreciating the complexity of our job. We also explained how time at the office would be staggered with each of us at the Center two week days in addition to Sundays and classes.

The other benefit of this sharing is that the community learns the difference between passion and competence.Passion

When we are not passionate or excellent at a particular task or responsibility, we lose energy, become stressed, and tire more quickly. But when we focus on doing what we are very good at or passionate about, we actually create energy and produce healthy anti-stress hormones. We wanted our community to understand that Jane and I are committed to fulfilling our duties, but only in the context of our passions, gifts, and authentic callings. Fortunately for us and our congregation, the very things that I dislike or have no passion about, Jane is totally all over.

Jane absolutely loves people and all things that serve, support, and lift up. Now its not to say that I don’t care about these things, its just that I am not passionate about them. I’d rather be figuring out a way to create a sustainable organization than thinking about sacred service or who needs to receive a thank you note. I guess what I am trying to say is that our co-ministry is the best of both worlds. From our perspective, Jane and I have the perfect job and Unity Spiritual Center has the perfect ministerial presence. Truly a match made in heaven and something that will be fun to watch as we take ourselves to the next level.

Blessings, Gary