Over the last several months I have been attending a class (for lack of a better word) on stewardship at my parish. We spent four classes in the fall watching a video presentation while following along on a worksheet that contained key points and words and then participated in some sort of activity or group discussion that incorporated some lesson from the video. Following that we now have a book called Stewardship: A Disciple's Response from the USCCB that we are reading through and discussing. It's been an interesting thing to follow along with and really has me thinking more about where I contribute to the church.
In some ways I feel like I do very little. We do contribute financially to the church and we are lucky enough to be in a position to do that. Beyond that, I often feel that I don't do much. I used to be involved in music ministry, the young adult group, the church archives, the women's guild, and a Bible study. I used to be really busy! So sometimes when I compare all those things to now, I feel like I do nothing.
It takes some thought, but I do realize that I contribute beyond the financial. In many ways what I do is not something that is easily seen. I often forget about those things myself!!
Even so, is there something more I can be doing? I ponder this a lot and sometimes ask for guidance in my prayers, but so far I haven't felt a clear tug in any particular direction. Plus, is now really a good time to get involved in a particular ministry? My life is going to look quite a bit different in a few months than it does now. And right now, I'm often too tired to think of much beyond just going to work and getting home.
Does anyone else every wonder if they can contribute more to their parish in some way? Maybe you want to contribute but are unsure of where your gifts lie? Well, I may have something that can help you!
In an online community I am a member of someone shared the following link with us. It is a little test or survey from a Catholic parish in Austin, TX. It's a little long, but well worth taking: 115 questions, but shouldn't take more than 10-15 minutes. In the end it ranks a bunch of different gifts according to your answers and provides links to explain what those gifts mean as well as gives a list of ministries that might suit you. The ministries are specific to this parish, but many of our home parishes have the same or similar ministries. It really gives you a good idea of where your gifts might best serve your parish.
You can go here to take the test/survey.
My husband and I both took it. We both got the same gift as our top one: Knowledge. But his second one was Craftsmanship, whereas my Craftsmanship was at the very bottom of my list (I knew I as right when I kept telling him he should have volunteered to help build the live nativity this past Christmas!). Musicianship was also in my top 5, he got a 0 in that particular gift. No wonder he never sings!!
Overall I found the rankings pretty accurate. In my top 5 were all things that I either have been involved with in the past, currently am doing, or have contemplated doing. It's kind of nice to get that affirmation that maybe my thinking is on the right track.
Take the test. How'd you do? Do you agree with your results? I'd love to hear your reactions.