Much of the narrative surrounding religion in America is one of scarcity and erosion -- places of worship closing at record rates, attendance at services dwindling, and a growing segment of the population selecting their religious identity as "None." For the next several newsletters, we'll be telling the stories of the courageous leaders in START who are transforming problems into opportunities by centering their work on the experiences of those they seek to serve. Hear from current Glean START participant Rev. W. Taft Harris.
Share one statistic surrounding your project or the population you're called to serve that you (or others around you!) may have previously viewed through a lens of scarcity or erosion. Share a few sentences on how you view it as an opportunity.
Rev. Harris: "Research reports a 30% to 40% attrition rate among ministry workers across all denominations. Some view these numbers as "shameful" or "dreadful;" however, InnerMission sees these numbers as dynamic opportunities. Those who work in ministry often have experiences that parallel secular or marketplace executive leadership skills. Their transition is a strong opportunity to assist them in the translation of these skills from one sector to another.
Who are you called to serve through InnerMission?
Rev. Harris: "InnerMission is called to serve those in ministry capacities who voluntarily or involuntary experience “interruptions” in their lives that render them un/underemployed, causing them to make the transition from the sacred to the secular workplace. The call is to serve the "BURNED OUT", "PUT OUT" or "MAXED OUT".
Why do you feel called to serve them -- what's your "why"?
Rev. Harris: "I know this person. I was this person. Honestly, if Spirit had not placed me on the hearts of a few individuals who loved me in these places, I would still be that person. This call is one from the reference library of my own life's experiences."