There have been a couple of seasons in my work that felt awful for how little control I felt I had over what I was doing, how little effect I thought it was having, and how exasperating every new effort felt. The first year of working with a particular group of junior high guys was one of those seasons. So was the first nine months of leading weekly Godly Play sessions with preschoolers. The challenges were strikingly similar.
I can now see how valuable those seasons were. Having to make it up as you go, trying something new each week, creating new problems by solving existing ones–there is no book, blog, or conference that can expand your skill set and knowledge base so dramatically. It feels downright awful some days, but it’s so worth it in the long run.
Remember that when you feel over your head and out of your league.
Bonus observation: the work of ministry allows for this kind of learning and growth in ways that I’m not sure many other types of work do. Teaching, probably. Community organizing? Making art? Those of us working in churches are lucky for the experience of feeling out of our depth and having the freedom–nay, the responsibility–to figure it out as we go.