Continuing the circus theme with Nouwen .... one of his other uses of the circus as a model for ministry is to cite the example of the clown, and how like clowns we are and need to be.
In "Clowning In Rome" he comments: "Clowns are not in the centre of the events. They appear between the great acts, fumble and fall, and make us smile again after the tensions created by the heroes we came to admire. The clowns don't have it together, they do not succeed in what they try, they are awkward, out of balance .... but ... they are on our side. ..... Of the clowns we say, "They are like us." The clowns remind us with a tear and a smile that we share the same human weaknesses."
That offers plenty for reflection - but encourages us to remember that "ordinary" ministry is so important - and we don't have to be perfect!