After the Dizzying Ride

I recently attempted to chart out my “career trajectory.”  As I started in diocesan settings and returned twice more to these settings while passing by parish settings, a regional office, a non-profit youth service organization, and a national office, my trajectory looks more like an expanding spiral, one which I have spun around about 1170 degrees.

First off, no complaints. Mike Yaconelli claimed his own epitaph suggesting that If I died right this minute, I would be able to say, ‘God, what a ride! What a ride!‘ The diaspora experience of unemployment and my landing within a position shared between two parishes had its own spirilamusement parks thrills and chills.  Having six months in place in my new setting, I now understand why it might have seemed a dizzying experience.  I always claimed to having wanted a revolution in youth ministry, I just didn’t imagine it was going to me circling around on a resume tilt-a-whirl.

And now it is time to get my bearings.

<< If you have a moment, you might chart your own past and present as well as consider the future.  It might allow you to have some intentionality about your next morning in the office, you next recruitment of volunteers or program participants, you next conversation with you supervisor(s).  My friend, Anne, while remaining in her work place for many years, has seen considerable turn-over in the past few years and needed to revisit the fruits of her past labors to place her future efforts in context. >>

As someone who has been blogging for the youth ministry world for eleven years, it is not surprising that I might commit to a manifesto type statement. (Here is one from March 2011)  Now, below, is my present vision statement…

For this upcoming year, in the hopes of growing as a disciple of Jesus, as a better minister, and as a human being, I hope to:

  • STICK TO THE WORD – I want to become more lectionary-based and to be formed by the Word of God.  I would desire that my own ministry finds me pointing to the contents of the Liturgy of the Word for the weekend.  I rather not be formed or to form this year by trending topics or emerging needs but by the Scriptures.
  • If the past six to fourteen months were about getting me READY for something, I have determined that this year is about getting SET and using that as an acronym.
    • Serve – and, amazing enough, this is directed towards home first, there are some paybacks due here for all those who have recently nurtured me.
    • Empower – And, this is aimed at the parish communities. I have claimed that the two parish scenario only works related to how well I empower others to ministry.  Now, I must walk the talk.
    • Teach – something forgotten over time is that I do have the ability to teach. I am going to make sure that I do not hide this gift, no matter what the setting.
  • SYSTEMIZE COMMUNICATION – This is something that I am immersed in (hopefully) throughout this week.   I need to set up the systems for communication, standardize the time frames, and then have at it with consistency.  Bulletin announcements and Sunday images are the stuff coming out of the weekend. “Staff newsletters” take us into the weekend, and publicity is the stuff of in-between.
  • BALANCE – I have been logging my hours attempting to keep myself accountable on equality between the two positions. My family, friends, and personal stuff (cleaning the apartment) have been lost in the mix. Will be working to address this.
  • BEAR NO GRUDGES – This has been rotating around me throughout my spiral review of my resume. There is no reason to hold onto any grudges or ill-will… They only limit rather than open the world of relationships.  I need to grow better about this.

Sorry for the lengthy and personal blog post.  By putting this stuff “out there” via the interwebs, I aspire to a shared sense of accountability.  In the spiral of your own resume, what’s next for you regarding new year’s resolutions towards the revolution?

God, what a ride! What a ride!

D. Scott Miller

D. Scott Miller is the dean of Catholic Youth Ministry bloggers which is a polite way of either saying that he is just plain old or has been blogging for a long time (since 2004.)

Scott recently married the lovely Anne and together they have five adult young people and also grandparent three delightful kids (so, maybe he is just plain old!) Scott presently serves at Saint John the Evangelist in Columbia, MD as the director of youth and young adult ministry.

He has previously served on the parish, regional, diocesan, and national levels as well as having taught within a catholic high school. He is one of the founders of RebuildMyChurch and has returned to posting regularly (keeping regular is important to old guys) at ProjectYM.


D. Scott Miller


D. Scott Miller is the dean of Catholic Youth Ministry bloggers which is a polite way of either saying that he is just plain old or has been blogging for a long time (since 2004.)

Scott recently married the lovely Anne and together they have five adult young people and also grandparent three delightful kids (so, maybe he is just plain old!) Scott presently serves at Saint John the Evangelist in Columbia, MD as the director of youth and young adult ministry.

He has previously served on the parish, regional, diocesan, and national levels as well as having taught within a catholic high school. He is one of the founders of RebuildMyChurch and has returned to posting regularly (keeping regular is important to old guys) at ProjectYM.



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