Back in the 90's when I was a young women working in manufacturing, Industry Leaders were just starting to harness the sleeping giants that had been hiding in plain site on their shop floors and in their offices. There was a realisation that outside of work, these manual workers and paper pushers were football referees, scout leaders, fundraisers, or volunteers in a whole host of different settings, using higher level skills that were ignored in the workplace, but if put to use, could benefit production, quality and ultimatley profitability. That was one of the principals I was using when trying to engage assembly workers in quality circles and quality improvement initiatives. It had a part to play in creating broaded, flatter, and less hierachical organisations, that relied less of top down management on a day to day basis. Now, even though that may be an over-simplification, the introduction to this module suggests that the Church is finally caught on. The Church has realised that by empowering and supporting the laity as disciples in common, we can achieve so much more, and been more relevant to our communities and people around the world.
I have been refelecting this week on how the vocation and call of laity and ordained are different. At a very basic level I believe we are all given the same vocation, to love and serve our God, and to love our neighbours. In addition we are given individual gifts that help to define our purpose. These may be practical or spiritual. We are called to different jobs, roles, or places, to enable us to use those gifts, to live out our vocations in our daily lives, and to fulfil the purpose we have been given. Our calling may change over time, but at root I believe our vocation remains the same. To me, loving my neighbour means to meet them where they are, to serve them according to their needs, and to practice tolerance, encourage mutual understanding, and to be just and fair. This has underpinned every role I have ever played, at work, home, and in my community. This is my song.
In the session materials we have been asked to...
'distinguish what you (we) love doing for it's own sake and what you (we) may want to do because of the rewards it may bring.'
I've struggled with this, as I believe everything brings a reward of some kind, even if you are not looking for it. Even a random act of kindness makes most of us feel good... if we're honest. I suppose to use a cliche, we are called to 'live to work' rather than 'work to live', but there are plenty in this world who would say that 'living to work' is a luxury they can't afford. As disciples living out our everyday faith I would hope this would not apply to us, or at least not everyday, as we should be living to serve the Lord, and our work is part of that service, whatever it may be.
As a member of the Laity, I will continue to look to our ordained ministers for support and guidance, why wouldn't I, but I embrace the freedom to serve through my own vocation and calling everyday, wherever I am, and whoever I am with.
Thanks, Amanda, lots to chew over here.
I think the question in the study materials may be about motivation - of course things I do may well bring a reward (of some kind), but we choose to do thin gs because of something about our values and beliefs, rathger than because of the reward. (Though, I agree that if we identify "feeling good about having done the right thing" as a form of reward, then this distinction becomes harder to locate.)