counseling vs. ministry
i think there's a difference between "ministers" and "counselors." most, if not all, ministers are counselors, but not all counselors are ministers.
depending on your point of view, yes, counseling IS a ministry, i.e., all uses of your gifts ultimately acting in service to God/dess. but i feel more grounded in the concept of someone finding me when they're ready to begin a process, guiding them through, then letting them fly...wash, rinse, repeat.
i do not have a passion for "gathering a flock" and seeing them through the various stages of their lives. my communal needs revolve more around friends, family and like-minded acquaintances. it feeds my spirit to be able to draw those people from a variety of sources.
full throttle community-based work requires a different level and type of energy than one-on-one healing, conducting classes/workshops, and writing books. as much as i respect those that do the former, i'm realizing that my strengths rest in the latter.
this is not new...more like the reemergence of an old calling empowered by new information.
when i had to think about a "day job," counseling was the only non-creative field that interested me. the bad news was i majored in psychology instead of social work; i didn't know that a MSW would have given me the foundation for the kind of work i really wanted to do. my vision of a "social worker" was a paper pushing government employee infringing upon the lives of poor folks. not my cup of tea.
psychology didn't hit the spot, either. i was not thrilled by statistics, research or the workings of the brain--although that stuff had its moments. i've always had academic talent, but an academic career would have driven me insane. i didn't want to write papers, think thoughts (exclusively), or have an alphabet behind my name--i wanted to help people.
now that i've met several awesome MSWs doing great things, i'm more open to the possibilities. considering my other training, i could even do my thing with a counseling certification.
this is the vision i want to hold on to.
one step closer to figuring out this thing called my life.