Testimony 2 of 3 for the Charism of Pastoring

“The great joy of the Called and Gifted process was discovering that it is not about me, it is about observing with joy the free flow of the Holy Spirit through me.”

It comes to mind as I try to write about my charism, will others think I am boasting about something I have? I would like to be quite clear about one thing: the great joy of the Called and Gifted process was discovering that it is not about me, it is about observing with joy the free flow of the Holy Spirit through me.

During the one to one discussion that followed on from the teaching sessions, it seemed that I probably had the Charism of Pastoring. I did not investigate this in the small group as there was already a lot of evidence. My previous experiences matched the statements in the Spiritual Gifts Inventory very closely. For example:

Statement 18:I understand the importance of Christian community and do everything I can to make it possible for Christians to spend time together sharing their experiences of following Jesus. Over the years I have started various projects including a Lectio Divina group, parenting courses, and a youth group (in a team). These groups were focussed on nurturing inter-relationships and many were focussed on spiritual growth.

Statement 66: One of the best ways I can serve God and others is by doing whatever it takes to enable a group of Catholics to come together and explore their faith. In November 2013, I saw Jeff Cavins at Portsmouth Cathedral. I enjoyed his presentation and was immediately struck by the opportunity to bring his 8-week study course to Winchester.

Statement 90: I enjoy and have been told that I am particularly good at guiding and encouraging the spiritual growth of a group of Christians. During the 8-week course I met other parishioners at a new level as we shared our sessions and explored our faith.

Statement 114: I have helped a specific group of Christians grow spiritually by bringing people together on a regular basis to pray, study, or share their faith. Later on, during Jeff Cavins’ 24-week course, we had an extraordinary experience of very deep exploration of faith together. These friendships rooted in faith were a new experience for me.

p21 Response or affirmation from others: …. Lots of positive feedback over time is a real affirmation…. The feedback from courses was incredibly positive. People have also given me positive feedback for my facilitation of other groups over the years, especially groups enabling faith sharing. P21 affirmation can also come indirectly, as we observe what people ask of us…..

Others will often recognise our gifts and ask us to exercise them – even if we ourselves don’t know what they are! I was asked to organise the parish Called and Gifted weekend and follow up in Hampshire Downs parish in particular the small group discussion exploring the charisms of others.

p21 Your experience: … if you are exercising a spiritual gift, you will generally feel energised, satisfied, and joyful, as though this is where you belong. The small group discussion, exploring the charisms of others, was particularly uplifting and I have loved watching the charisms of each of them produce wonderful fruit. That is a real joy!

I love doing all of this. I enjoy relating to small groups and like to know people individually, although I don’t necessarily know them very well.
I hope as you read this you will also realise the joy of the work of the Holy Spirit

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