Monday, October 12, 2009


I am finding it difficult to express how I feel right now. But I want to, because I want to remember this.
We received the questions for our 'exit interviews' that will be held next Tuesday. They are good questions. Reflective questions. At least, I think that it helps me to answer them for myself, I'm not sure how confident I will be about answering them for a panel. How has God used me this year? Talk about a conflict that I have experienced. There are 18 questions. The reality is that we will all pretend to some extent in answering those questions. I am so tired of pretending. But I am so hard to understand that if I am just myself people will be confused. The honest answer to some of these questions is that I don't believe that I have been a raging success this year. It is very much a classical case of 'the church has survived in spite of me, not because of me'. But if I project that to a committee, what will they hear? A lack of confidence? A lack of belief in myself? A lack of competence? The bottom line is that I have not had fun this year. I would not choose to do this for the rest of my life. Does this mean that I am not called by God to the ministry? That I am not called to work cross-culturally? That I am a racist? How will a committee hear that?
I go to seminary next year. To learn how to be a transformational leader. I wonder if they know more about transformational leadership than I do? I wonder if they can be as creative in church things as I can be? Have they thought about and struggled with the essence of church, community and leadership as much as I have? What do they know about the use of technology? Will they teach us?
I look at my face and I see how much this year has aged me. And I become angry with the sense of futility that I feel. What is it all for?
I am not without hope. I pray that seminary will be inspirational and challenging. I know that I have much to learn, if only they can and will teach me.


Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I've read a lot of your posts now. This is the best one.

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Thanks. It is difficult to express how I feel sometimes for fear of being 'anti-establishment', if you know what I mean. But it doesn't seem right to pretend that I always feel 100% happy and optimistic!

Thomas Scarborough said...

I sense that God knows what we need for our education even if seminaries do not. I felt dismayed at some of the things they taught us postgrad students. Academics with little if any experience in ministry.

I'm wondering what is meant by transformational. In South Africa it tends to have a political meaning. In the Global North, it tends to refer to a form of leadership. As a form of leadership, I consider it to be destructive, disastrous. My MTh thesis title: "A Deconstructionist Critique of Christian Transformational Leadership".

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Yes, I am happy with leaving my training in God's hands!
I'm also wondering what is meant by transformational. Watch this space in 2010!