Jo began her ministry with us in January this year, and the church and I are delighted with her. Here are a few quick impressions.
Jo and I are obviously very different, and that’s a good thing.
She is a 33-year-old woman. I’m 53-year-old man.
She has little children at home. My children have all flown the nest and are old enough to have children of their own, thus eventually providing my wife and me grandchildren to spoil (hint, hint).
Jo preaches without notes, and though she does strong exegesis (and is particularly excellent with Hebrew and Greek), she composes her sermons in her mind, typically while doing housework. (Her house must be immaculate!) I, on the other hand, write and preach full manuscript sermons. (Several years ago, I tried preaching without notes for six months—an interesting experiment, but not something I want to do on a regular basis).
Jo does beautiful liturgical dance. I would do the hokey-pokey, but I get all turned around.
Jo likes “artsy/crafty” ways of teaching. I once got an “unsatisfactory” in elementary school art class.
Thanks to some of the women in our church, Jo now has an elegant office space. My office is a hodge-podge, and that’s being generous about it.
Jo is tech-savvy. I’m tech-adequate.
Jo is wonderful at taking a ministry project and making it more organized, more attractive in print, and more inviting. Me? I’m pretty happy if it’s typed without spelling or grammatical errors.
Jo is confident without being arrogant, enthusiastic without being irritating, kind without being mushy, and wise beyond her years. Yes, she may be learning a few things from me, the grizzled, old guy who has been serving as a pastor for 24 years, but I surely am learning from her as well. In a word, I think Jo is a treasure for our congregation.
Is she perfect? Certainly not. Neither am I (as you know so well). If Jo and I have the privilege of working together for several years, will she and I sometimes disagree and occasionally get frustrated with each other? Of course. But as with all good relationships between ministry colleagues and friends, whenever we might get frustrated with each other in the future, I trust we will deal with each other directly, kindly, and fairly, and work things out.
During a meeting a few weeks ago, one of the church committee chairpersons said to the two of us that she felt a “synergy” in our ministry. Synergy. In other words, God is using our strengths and weaknesses as we work together to produce something better than if either of us merely worked alone. Such is the providence of God.