There was nothing scarier than the thought of being responsible for souls. I used to not be able to sleep teaching catechism, all the more, leading a small group of single women in growing in the faith. But they say when it comes to God, the only answer is "yes" and so I took the plunge in 2006 and led a group of young ladies.
It was a totally different experience for me. I had to sing and I had to lead the worship. I had to prepare the food. But these weren't the important things, it was the pastoral formation that I was concerned about. Would I be a fitting leader? Could I lead by example? Would they respect me, follow me? Or would they be hard-headed and the like? It proved to be a challenge but it was also rewarding. It was through servant-leadership and by dying to my own fears that I was able to get out of myself and let God lead me in doing His work.
When you let him have the helm, everything falls into place. You finish a household meeting thinking, was that me? How did I do that? It was God's Spirit. Indeed, where two or three are gathered in His name - there He is in our midst. The Spirit leads and we follow. And the household is blessed.
I could never forget what my best friend said when I asked her for advice regarding leading a group. She said ... "God doesn't choose who serves Him as long as you serve Him." And from there, as God used my best friend, Jam, to deliver His message, I became comfortable being in such a humbling position as a leader of a household. But leading is not so much teaching but learning from all the members. Everyone brings their own story and as a leader, you grow from the membership as you would like to share also pieces of your life and hopefully make a difference in theirs.
Handling a group taught me that I had a lot to learn. It taught me to love unconditionally. It taught me to be patient, to be kind, to not be judgemental and most of all to love. I learned to listen and I learned to give priority to other people's needs. It's not easy as I was very self-absorbed. I lessened my complaining and as I was regarded as a pillar of strength, it made me draw on God's strength even more because I am only human and no physical strength could withstand the challenges of facing life where good and evil interplay.
I continue to be humbled because as I grow in service and handle a group, I know that I may not be doing enough. I know that anything I do can be misinterpreted. But I have faith in God that He will use me in whatever way He can to glorify Him and to bring the souls I share the faith journey with closer to Him.