When Luke Skywalker arrives on the stormy, swampy planet Dagobah in search of Yoda, he is impatient. In fact he has no patience at all. He does not know what or who he is seeing. Instead he exudes overconfidence, frustration, and darting attentions.
You can watch Luke thrash around in his new situation. And see how he tries to hurry the next steps of his training. Does it seem familiar?
I can certainly say I’ve been there and done that.
When it comes to new situations and new learning, patience is not my strong suit. And when I was at the beginning of my training as a minister in practice, even less so.
Luke had a master teacher in Yoda. The enigmatic and ever-present wise teacher of the movies makes us long for mentors and teachers who will take us on patiently and guide us into self-understanding and greater masterly of our practice.
Not many learning situations work out like they did for Luke, however. Most of the time we are plunged into strange and incomprehensible places with dynamics that mystify and frustrate. Like Luke at the opening time of his training with Yoda, we can find ourselves thrashing around. We try to dicipher the swamp, figure out where to go, and what to listen to. We have no idea really what is important.
While some ministry situations still allow for apprenticeship to a person, more often the apprenticeship is to the situation of ministry itself, with many teachers and opportunities to learn just around every corner.
This week’s episode of Three Minute Ministry Mentor introduces you to Pastor Wanda* a participant in the Learning Pastoral Imagination Project. She has been apprenticing to her situation in Harlem (NYC) for many years, and she has developed a powerful sense of place. Pastor Wanda has also cultivated a deep love for people in her neighborhood and she has honed her gifts of calling them into community.
Would you tell us about the situation where you are apprenticed in ministry right now? What is challenging your patience? Who and what are your teachers? We would love to hear from you! Please know you are invited to share your ideas and feedback here!
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