Sunday, April 26, 2009

Perceived Gifts for Pastoral Care and Counseling

I took the PLACE Assessment in the Spring of 2008 semester and I believe it is a marvelous tool to affirm a call. Actually, I realized that I knew the call all along, but the assessment helped me to put it into perspective. I think a ministry of “Helps” is definitely in my future. I have a real heart for older people. There are so many elderly in the United States who seem to be thrown away. People hide their parents away in nursing facilities, just too busy to care for them anymore. I believe there may definitely be something God has for me in this area. There is so much about life that our elderly can help the young with and vice versa. It could be a life-altering experience for a young person to visit a nursing home on a regular basis and brighten the life of someone there. There are many young people that I know that this could make a difference in their life. I plan to work on this during the coming months and see where the Lord leads me.

My church has been very supportive. I really find the most encouragement coming from older women. They are all so dear to me. Most have lived their whole life for their husband and children. Church was more of a social obligation for some of them. They never realized all the things that they could have done until those other things were gone and they were left alone. They were too busy with their children and grandchildren, but now they have now learned to depend on God and each other for strength. They have been so supportive of my ministry, whatever it is this week.

I really love facilitating in group settings. I did just that with the “Celebrate Recovery Group” at First Baptist for two years and also with Parents Without Partners “We Care Group” for three years. I actually miss the interaction and the catharsis of sharing with others.

My spiritual gifts determined in the PLACE assessment last semester are “I‑Inspiring,” “D-Driven,” and “C- Conscientious.” The following are the attributes that I picked out from the lists in the PLACE Assessment:

· Inspiring —compassionate, curious, contagious, easily distracted, emotional, eye for nature and art, expressive, extrovert, friendly, impulsive, out-going, people-centered, positive, restless, and warm.

· Driven—aggressive, bold, confident, determined, impatient, intuitive, optimistic, practical, and restless.

· Conscientious—artistic, creative, faithful, idealistic, impatient, intelligent, loyal, sensitive, and traditional.

I may not have all of these attributes, but I certainly try. In an effort to always be positive in my ministry, you may find there are no negatives in the list. I fully intend to focus on the positive aspects in the Lord’s ministry.

In conclusion, I find it easy to express the joy and hope in the future. I have been able to see deep into myself and realize that God really has something magnificent for me to do. I love being in this class because it is almost like a small therapy group instead of a “class.” The sharing of each person had helped me to see that this is where my gifts might work best with the Lord’s help.

Paper written for "Pastoral Care & Counseling" class taken at the John Leland Center for Theological Studies in the Fall of 2008.

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