Unlike my usual posts, I’d like to share a few thoughts of a personal nature. As of Sunday, I will no longer have an official ministry position for the first time in ten years. This thought is both refreshing and startling as I ponder the various aspects of this change.
First, this marks the beginning of a season of reflection and restoration. To be honest, in many ways I am quite simply drained. Over the past ten years I have worked 2-3 “jobs” concurrently in addition to going to school. Over that time, different aspects of my life have undoubtedly suffered as a result of my crowded schedule. I’ve known too few boundaries, estimated myself too highly, and depended on God too infrequently. I’m looking forward to refueling and prioritizing my life in a way that maximizes my effectiveness in the kingdom. I repent of the self-induced hectic nature of my past.
Second, this is also a time of transition. Besides the obvious changes, My wife and I are also prayerfully deciding where we will attend church, what denomination we feel led to long term, and discerning God’s specific call in ministry. There is a bittersweet taste to this transition because we leave behind so many great relationships, but we also eagerly await the new ones God will forge in the days ahead.
Third, I hope this period will produce growth. God has stretched, disciplined, healed, cared for, and guided me through the blessed and weary miles of my path so far. He has taken me to unlikely places to teach me unlikely things. How He will specifically use these experiences remains to be seen; however, this period will help to process all my shortcomings and strengths. It will offer the opportunity to reflect, repent, refuel, and to grow.
Finally, this spurt of transparency would be incomplete without acknowledging the great burden God has placed upon my heart as I continue to meditate on His word. My call into ministry is not from man. I am not called to ultimately please or appease my peers, students, family, friends, or boss. I must eventually stand before God. I have labored to please and appease people far too often. God is guiding me to become resolved in my commitment to joyful obedience to Him.
Instead of frantically working to measure up on the “ministry-meter,” I plan on resting in the sufficient grace of God and letting ministry naturally overflow from the abundance of that grace. As I contemplate this transition, I’m reminded of the vision statement, which was a product of God’s work in my life nearly eight years ago.
Enabled by God, I will exalt His glory through overflowing joy in Christ to all people.”
That statement, derived from an intense season of biblical meditation, has newfound expression in my ministry outlook and life in general. So, for those of you who are interested enough in my personal transparency to read this post, I’d like you to pray over some specific things .
- Pray that God would guide us to a local church where His gospel is central, His word is unashamedly proclaimed, and where we can grow in community with fellow believers.
- Pray that God would reveal Himself to us in this season so that we can clearly discern His long term ministerial call.
- Pray for God’s powerful moving to reveal sinfulness, guide towards repentance, and draw us into obedience.
This is a humbling, sad, unsettling, joyous, and exciting time. This is my personal transparency.