Rev. Danira Parra
Forty years ago, when I was a teen, The Who, an English rock band asked that question in one of their most popular songs. “Who are you? Who, who? Who, who?” This perpetual question of my youth is almost more driving and important for me today. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m a child of God, a person deeply in love with Christ called to his service as a pastor. The difficulty ensues when I lose focus of the values, gifts, direction and goals of the service to which I have been called.
John Wesley tells us to “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can,” and the Bible tells us that we have been created by God to do good works in Christ that God selected in advance for us to do [Ephesians 2:10]. So it would seem that it is important to know the following three things:
1. Who are you?
2. What are the good works that you are called to do in Christ?
3. What is the way you best accomplish those good works?
How do the puzzle pieces that are your pre-selected gifts and graces, fit into the empty puzzle piece spaces your church and congregation members have? How can you help them complete their puzzle?
While the concept of knowing the answers to these questions seems pretty simple and obvious, it’s easy to become so enmeshed in the sea of people and problems clamoring for your time and attention and in so doing to get lost in the chaos of noise, forgetting who you are – if even temporarily. For me, knowing who I am requires that I be able to verbalize my values, abilities, spiritual gifts, and God-given graces, and reviewing these with the Lord on a regular basis. Here’s a list of questions that help in that regard.
1. Who are you? What are your spiritual gifts and personal values? How do you exhibit these in your work and personal life?
2. What are the good works that you are called to do in Christ? What do you do well? How does it fit in to what Christ calls you to do? What is the direction or the purpose of the good works to which you are called?
3. What is the way you best accomplish those good works? How do your gifts and values help to take the people (or church) in your life to that place? What unique ability do you bring to the mix? Are you called to do? To see? To challenge? To push? To encourage? To scold? To redirect? Etc.
Who are you? It’s an age old question that when you get curious about it, never gets old. No matter what your age.