Just Call Me Pastor Claire

There’s something to say about getting up on stage in front of 80 middle schoolers and talking to them about Jesus.

That’s what I did this last Sunday.

All by myself.

I prepped, I practiced, and I preached, on stage, by myself with no one there to save me if I fell.

And I fell in love.

Don’t get me wrong, I perform in some way, shape, or form every single day. Whether it be conducting asymmetric meter in front of my conducting class, running through a piece with my accompanist for the first time in my voice lesson, or actually performing on stage either with my choir or as a soloist.

Performing is part of who I am.

But this was different.

Having a conversation about Jesus as a small group leader on a daily Sunday is one thing. But talking about Jesus with all of the middle schoolers (noisy boys that laugh at you the whole time included) is a difficult task. You have to be completely calm, completely vulnerable, and 100% authentic, all while appealing to them and keeping their attention.

But there’s something about that whole process that is just beautiful to me.

There’s something really special about opening up and showing your vulnerability. I feel like I had an impact this weekend on middle schoolers I don’t even know. I feel like God took over while I was onstage and spoke through me. He used me to talk about Jesus.

How freaking awesome is that?

I used to feel this close to God when I first started leading worship. I used to “black out” during my set and feel as if someone else had been controlling me the whole time. I knew God was using me to sing and to play guitar and to lead. But I’ve done it for years and while it never gets old, it was time for someone else to come and take my place.

I struggled with that for a long time. Because leading worship was what I did. It was my thing. It was where I felt closest to God and could hear what He needed to say to me.

Now I see that stepping back from worship lead way to this new passion of mine.

I was nervous as heck though. Middle schoolers are hard to please. And I wanted them to listen to what I had to say.

My boyfriend’s seventh-grade boys laughed at me the whole time.  Every time I looked at the back row, there they were laughing away. Yes, I realize they probably weren’t laughing at me and just being seventh-grade boys but I was convinced that they were laughing at me.

But I’ve never felt more supported. My mom came, my boyfriend’s mom came, my mentor/supervisor helped me throughout this whole process, I got encouragement from the youth pastor, from the program director. Everyone knew that this was something I would be good at.

And now I know.

I definitely plan on using this newfound gift any chance I can get.

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