During this course, (Ministry & Context), I have grown tremendously in my theological understandings. This class has helped me to be able to place things in which, I deemed impossible to reality. I was able to connect the thought of practicum and the knowledge of praxis in this class. This paper will give a theological analysis, while reexamining the focus of the themes in which I presented in class. I will also share and reflect critically on the feedback of comments and insights gleamed during the class discussions. Thirdly, I will explore and identify significant findings for my personal and spiritual development and future engagement in ministry. And finally, I will give my concluding theological thoughts about the readings, my site, my personal development, and the class.
Restate the Issues
From reading the text, I quickly identified with the author Hill Harper’s The Conversation. In the 17th chapter Harper talks about Anger, Forgiveness, and Learning to let go. One of my most freighting fears is the thought of someone dying and having a grudge, or being mad. In my genealogy we have always struggled with forgiving and being in control. My personal issues are that I struggle with are, as Hill Harper writes, “Maybe you grew up with a father who was controlling. You know that doesn’t mean that all men are controlling. Still you keep your guard up and behave in a way that lets the men in your life know that you’re just not having it, that they will not and cannot control you. Maybe your mother is critical of you, but that doesn’t mean all women will be critical.
Still, you keep your guard up and put every woman in your life on notice: you will not and cannot tolerate their criticism and lash out as a result. In personal life, the roles are switched, my mother is controlling and my father is more critical. As a child growing I remember my mother, always being in control and my father always-sitting back being the critical one. A lot of my frustrations came from this understanding. My mother’s controlling tendencies have always pushed me the wrong way. I think her love for being in control have pushed me to be rebellious, and be adamant about me controlling my thoughts, my actions, and my life. Site
My site is Willie A. Watkins Funeral Home, and my some of the site challenges, my cousin is the owner and he likes to be critical and always be in charge. We have a constant battle from day to day, about who’s really in charge. Although I understand and realize that it is his business, I know that I have an opinion. These problems are constantly issues that I see that effecting, my ministry. I know and understand that these types of people both listed in my personal and site will be in my parish, in my ministry and even in my home. So I have to become a bigger person and be able to deal with difficult people and make the best out of the situation. My ultimate problem I have is with being controlled, and that is because I have failed to give God all the power in my life. This has become a constant struggle in my life. As a child I have always relied on myself for everything. Although I believe and trust God, I have never given God all the power in my life. This is part of the reason I am constantly in battle with self. Reflections on feedback
As I reflect on the feedback from my class presentation, I have learned that I am not the only one that feels like this. Based on my responses it is deeply noted that I am not the only person that has a desire to be in control of their life and their situations. My peers wrote a lot of different things about my journey, personal, and site experiences based on my presentation in class. Majority of my peers inserted that I need to focus on practicing humility, and finding my passion for ministry. These reflections were good insight about my personal self. I constantly see that I feel like I have made it. I feel like I have paid my dues by completing seminary and doing the basic requirements of the church. The sad reality of this circumstance is the idea that I haven’t made anything. I haven’t proved myself worthy of a position or even a job. One can not lead, if one doesn’t know or even want to follow.
III Exploring and identifying significant findings what did I learn from critique
In the course of this educational year, the Ministry & Context class has caused me to do some honest self reflection. IT has help with my personal development, ministry goals, and connecting praxis and practical. A. Personal Development
My personal development is deeply rooted in me, being a 25 year old male, and constantly fighting myself, and God, on day to day basics trying to get where I want to be. I purposely dig deep into my life and see areas that need to be reexamined for improvement. My attitude about my status and my positions constantly affects my relationships, communication and involvement with others. While reading the feedback from my class, it brought me off of my own clout and forced me to be in tuned with myself, my community, and my current context. As I prepare to leave ITC and step into the real world as a preacher, teacher, and man of God, I have to always remember the advice given by my fellow classmates, be humble, and always reaffirm my passions in life and in ministry, and ultimately seeking God for guidance. B. Spiritual development
My spiritual development has been a long process in which I believe has grounded me in listening to God, and responding to God’s call. As a child I have always prayed to God, while asking God to fix certain circumstances in my life. Unfortunately I never took the time to listen to the voice of God and God’s call for me. The seminary process and particularly the Ministry and Context class has brought to my conscious, how one should hear the voice of God and how one responds to God’s call in their personal life. This process has strengthened my love for God and my thoughts on my relationship with God.
C. Future engagement in ministry
My future engagement in ministry will consist of remembering and embracing the current, past, and present struggles of life. My future engagement requires me to integrate my seminary experience, classes, and personal reflections. This engagement shall be solely God focused, while exploring the spiritual walk, the process, and maturity of self and personal development. Some of my future goals for ministry are to become a board certified chaplain, practice social justice, and develop a church plant. As a chaplain I believe that my encounters with the people that I will come into contact will continually remind me of my personal goals, growth, and development. In conclusion, this paper has discussed my personal development for this class. It has included my site, site issues, and reflections taken from the class. This paper has also integrated my class feedback, and plans for implication in my personal, spiritual development, and future engagement in ministry. With these reflections, I have broadened my outlook on my ministry and plan to actively engage these reflections in my ministry. Throughout this course I been encouraged, enlightened, and empowered. I am very appreciative for this unique experience.
 Harper, Hill “The Conversation”: How Black Men and Women can build trusting Relationships (New York: Gotham Books). 2009,195-199.