Giving advice on a subject you know nothing about

Operator?!, originally uploaded by Dalla*.

So in this blog I’m going to let you into my wounded brain for just a second. Ever feel like you have no idea what you are doing?

Yeah that’s this guy. I started blogging long ago to just dump and evaluate what was going on in my life. This blog shifted about 2 years ago into more of a children’s ministry blog. That is my role and I look at people that have been in ministry for ages in a children’s role and I’m in awe of the content they have. For the most part I feel so inadequate. I feel like a child in the midst of so much awesome.

I feel like sometimes I just don’t contribute enough to the growth and development of Family Ministry and Children’s Ministry through this blog. It’s one of the main factors in re-assessing the purpose of this space. You have people like Kenny, Sam, Matt, Gina, Henry, Anthony, Jonathan, Amy, etc. who are just killing it and I’m just trying to soak it all in. So in my woundedness, I feel totally inadequate when coming to terms with the value that I add to the community, when these rockstars are knocking it out of the park.

But then yesterday happened. I have been solicited advice on numerous occasions before about parenting. I’ve never walked away from giving parenting advice with the idea that I helped in any way. But yesterday was different. I knew answers, I knew strategies, I knew resources. It was like I knew what I was talking about. I don’t think this father is going to be totally different but I felt for the first time that I gave meaningful parenting advice.

The part that makes this all so weird to me is this: I have zero children. I know very little about parenting except for what I have soaked up from people, blogs, and books. I don’t understand why people would seek me out for advice. It’s sort of my own insecurity about my abilities and gifts but these thoughts race through my mind at least twice a day.

But yesterday it seemed as if I gave some sound, beneficial advice to a father searching for some.

I say all of this because maybe you are out there like me and feel like you are completely incapable of succeeding in a particular arena because of experience, education, or emotional baggage. But don’t stop learning or trying. Allow God to work in and through you as you seek to perfect your craft. Allow God to be glorified not by your ability, but by your openness to surrender to Him. Look for ways to get better and ways to practice your craft.

But be open to God working in and through your life.

What is an area that you feel inadequate to help others in? How or what did you do to overcome it?

  • Wayne Stocks

    Thanks for your post and your transparency. I think most of us have been in that situation where we felt totally inadequate for the task at hand, but few of us I ready to admit that publicly. Often times, we just find ourselves "faking" our way through it which in the end helps no one.

    In these situations, I'm not sure we can actually "overcome it." I think we have to rely on God. He puts us in positions and places where we feel totally inadequate, and yet he works through us to accomplish his goals.

    When people ask about my blog, I explain that I started the blog for me. I wanted a forum to work through various things I was pondering and studying. As I did that, I would write them out as a means of processing them, and I thought I would post them to either 1) get additional insight from people who knew better than me or 2) make them available to people who might be interested. I started to write about Children's Ministry not because I thought I had anything to offer but because it was a passion of mine that I just felt led to share with people. I will never forget the shock I felt the first time someone wrote to me to tell me they found something really beneficial and useful to them in their ministry. I'm no expert. I don't think any of us really are. I was shocked that my observations (which I found rather mundane to be truthful) were of benefit to anyone. I have long been my own worse critic, but I realized in that moment that no matter how inadequate I feel, God can work through me. I found that realization to be really refreshing. I don't have to strive to write the "perfect" article or offer the "perfect" solution. I just have to be me, and God can use that in other people's lives if he wants to. If he doesn't, that's OK too because he works through that same effort to sanctify me.

    I know I've rambled on now, but I hope that makes some sense. :)

    • jcisonline

      most definitely makes some sense. I feel the same way. I want you to know Wayne the sheer work that you put into getting people resources for Children's Ministry is astronomical to me. I absolutely find something beneficial in your blog consistently. Continue doing what you are doing, because God is using you!

  • jonathan

    I'm right there with ya! I keep waiting for somebody to figure out that I have a gigantic bag of nothing…

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