LET OTHERS SAY
“YOU ARE IMPORTANT”
There are a number of things that Presbyteries can do to contribute to the emotional health of their Pastors and Educators. Even something as simple as remembering their anniversaries of employment or ordination is a way of saying you are important. Occasionally someone can offer a brief experience at a Presbytery meeting that also recognizes who we are as servants of the Lord. I want to offer one such possibility. Feel free to adapt it to your situation.
TELLING THE STORY
Depending on the size of the Presbytery meeting, this might take 20 to 30 minutes. The leader would say that s/he wants to lead the group in an experience of grace.
He then asks people to stand up and tell an affirmative story about someone else’s ministry who is present in the room. This is followed by repeated brief, unrehearsed stories of affirmation about other people’s ministry. You might need to say that this will continue for 15 minutes and the stories should be brief and to the point.
THE BEST STORY
Following the story telling, you tell them that they are going to determine the winner. First step, using applause as your meter, ask the group to choose from which section of the room the best story came. Divide the room into quarters and proceed.
Next, taking the winning quarter, have those who told stories to stand up and by a quick show of hands, determine the best story told.
GRACE DOESN’T WIN
Now here comes the grace part. Remind them that if the prize went to the person who told the best story, it would not be grace but a reward for work performed, so count four people down and three people back in the audience and offer them a prize such as a $10 Starbucks card.
LIFTING THE SPIRITS
All of this is meant to be fun and celebratory. People hear about good ministry being performed, people hear about themselves being affirmed, and an unexpected person receives the prize. It is that type of experience that can lift our spirits.