5 Expectations Crushed this Summer by Kala Hudson

Posted: August 9, 2011 in Church Planting at Sojourn
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This summer, I came in with a lot of expectations. I expected certain things to happen based on past ministry experiences that I had and what I selfishly wanted to happen. Well, to put it quite bluntly, this summer didn’t go anything like I wanted or expected it to. These five things were my biggest expectations that just didn’t end up happening.

1. There would be a lot of tangible results.
I knew that I would be working at an ice cream shop where I would be talking to people all the time. I expected that people would come up and be eager to ask me for advice or ask me about Jesus, even though Jim warned us that the people in Council Bluffs weren’t too open to hearing about Jesus without bringing it up themselves. After the first few weeks without any deep conversations, I became frustrated. Why weren’t people asking me questions?! The point wasn’t just to give out ice cream, but that was all that I seemed to be doing. After watching Jim in action and observing how he related to people, I realized that I am not a very open person.. I’m quite shy and reserved until I get to know someone and that makes people not want to open up to me so quickly. As I go back home and talk with nonbelievers, I will keep this in mind and work on trying to be more personable.

2.  I would be constantly sharing the gospel.
I thought I would have more people who would be willing to talk about Jesus with me. Many people in Council Bluffs don’t care to hear that they are sinners and that they need help. Most other ministry experiences I’ve had have measured success by how many people heard the gospel and how many responded. Well I’ve learned here that sharing the gospel is important but when you push it on people, they don’t listen to you, so it’s almost shared in vain. Loving on people first and genuinely being their friend will bring about so many more opportunities to share the gospel than just making them listen to it when they’re not ready to hear it.

3.  Our group would work perfectly together.
I didn’t have any contact with the girls I would be working with this summer before I arrived here. Even after the first week, we didn’t know very much about each other. As the summer progressed, it became easier for me to pick out the things that I liked and disliked about people and hold that against them. I think maybe some of the other girls may have done the same thing. We weren’t working very well as a team because we didn’t really know what each other was going through or thinking about or struggling with. We sat down a couple times and tried to grow closer together and open up about how we were feeling, but our group just didn’t have the chemistry that I was expecting. I’ve learned that it is very hard to work in a group without this chemistry but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. Everyone just has to try a little harder.

4. I would be constantly uplifted with biblical truths.
This expectation sounds as if I was not shown or given any biblical truths while I was here this summer, which is far from true. I heard biblical truths at least twice a week from Jim’s teachings and was given Bible verses by my roommate, April. This expectation was crushed because I was not uplifted by these biblical truths, not because of the lack of encouragement around me. I wanted to rely on others to keep up my spiritual life without taking care of it on my own. I didn’t take charge of my own life but instead expected others to prompt me to do so or hold me accountable.

5. There would be very little or no problems.
I don’t know where this expectation came from because nothing ever works out exactly the way we want it to. I guess this goes along with our group not working perfectly together, Shannon having to be sent home early, Jim’s car overheating often. There were just more obstacles than I wanted to face this summer.

This summer was not at all what I expected it to be. I feel like it was a challenge for me emotionally and spiritually. But I’ve learned so much from this experience. I feel like I’ve seen more of what real ministry entails. It’s not always pretty. There are going to be some things that don’t go the way you want them to. And having experienced them early, I’ll have a better understanding of how to deal with obstacles in the future. I’m glad that I was able to spend my summer with Sojourn and I’m leaving with more than I came in with.

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