The Why

Jenna Horgan

Jenna Horgan

By Jenna Horgan

We leave for Central America tomorrow morning. We have been preparing for this moment for over two years now! I think we have told our story to at least 1,000 people in 1,000 different ways.

Everyone has different responses. “Oh wow, you’re doing mission work?” or “that’s nice that you’re going there, are you going to build a house or teach a useful skill?” or “be careful, I hear it’s dangerous.” Some people have expressed their own longings, saying they wish they had volunteered abroad when they were younger.

The one question I have not fully processed is “why are you doing this?”

I am still living my way into the why.

The heart of it is this: we are all part of this human experience. Gay, straight, rich, poor, Latino, white, black, Asian.

I have grown up with such privilege, such wealth that I cannot even begin to comprehend. Sure, in the US I would be considered middle class. But I do not know what it’s like to not have enough to eat, or money to spend. I quit my job two months ago and have lived off savings and the generosity of others, with no problem. Vacation is part of my yearly routine. I have an Ipod, a laptop, a car.

Yes, I do feel guilty, but I do not think guilt is the answer. Guilt will not get us anywhere, nor change our lifestyles.

There is another kind of wealth that is far more valuable. The wealth of community, and love. That is what I seek, and what I hope to share.

I will keep you updated on the why. We are off to Guatemala in the morning!

“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

-Lilla Watson

Note: this post dates from 2012, at the beginning of Jenna’s overseas assignment. People serve with BVS for all different reasons! Would you like to read more stories of call? or find out more about BVS?

Supporting Leaders: Professionalism

  1. Have a solid job description and set of realistic expectations for your pastor. Review them regularly and hold the church accountable for helping to ensure that the pastoral load is reasonable
  2. Same as above, but for other leadership roles in the church
  3. Allow and/or help leaders say “no”
  4. Provide an adequate salary and benefits package, following denominational guidelines
  5. Limit the number of early morning or evening meetings each week

The May issue of Basin & Towel magazine is all about the idea of calling, which includes caring for and sustaining those who have answered their call. How do you support your pastor and other church leaders? What would you add to this list, specifically considering “professionalism”? Future posts in this series will cover supporting leaders in the areas of health, Sabbath rest, and emotional support. Join the conversation, share ideas, and learn from others!