“Oh man, she thinks I’m a minister!”
Martha had this startling thought while talking with Linda, the newly elected chair of deacons at FBC Benson. The church started out as a place where Martha could meet her field education requirement for seminary. It turned into a four year relationship with the congregation. That relationship brought moments that propelled Martha further into her call.
The night Martha had this thought, was a very significant turning point in her self-understanding. Martha is one of the clergywomen I interviewed for Anatomy of a Schism. She experienced a number of significant moments that paved the way for her to embrace her call as a pastor.
This one was a defining moment.
The featured resource this week is the Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath. They identify the most important aspects of defining moments in their opening chapter. Here is what they looked like for Martha…
This evening in conversation with Linda was definitely a high point, and an emotional boost, and included an element of a surprise for Martha. These kind of experiences — emotional, uplifting and surprising — help crystallize the defining moments in someone’s life.
Martha had reached a place of both trust and credibility with the congregation. She talked about owning “a place in their history and their heart.” This moment with Linda helped seal the reality of the goodness and pride in her relationship with the church.
Certainly this was not only a surprising moment but one that delivered to Martha a renewed clarity, not only of what she had been to this congregation, but also a deeper understanding of what her next steps of calling in ministry could look like. She was ready to become a pastor because she was already relating to these people as their minister.
Clearly this was a significant point of connection for Martha. Linda had reached out to her in connection as someone sharing leadership at the church and also as a peer in ministry. The experience not only connected Martha to Linda more particularly a special way, it also strengthened her connection with the entire congregation.
The Heath brothers don’t love that these features makes an acrostic, but I think it’s pretty helpful. Defining moments are indeed EPIC moments. They last beyond when they happen, and they often give new definition to our lives.
What are the defining moments, epic experiences, small or large, that have brought you to where you are at this point in your life?
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