My blogs for the remainder of the year are going to be somewhat different to my normal style of writing. God has been actively working in my spiritual life over the last few months, as I have been going through a process of discernment regarding my ministry. Up until now, these thoughts have only been discussed with a few people whom I greatly trust. I had never thought about sharing these on the web through my blog, until today, as I took my daily two mile walk at one of my favorite walking places.
I usually walk with my wife (whom I greatly missed today). This afternoon, however, it was just me and God. As I began my walk, on a glorious, sun splashed afternoon, my thoughts immediately turned to what God is calling me to do in ministry. So many possible ways to minister have been running through my mind lately, but today, I believe that God gave me some clarity on how to proceed. It’s possible that I have completely misunderstood God and I risk looking foolish for discussing what I believe God is calling me to do. Even so, I have decided to take a leap of faith and find out what God has in store for my ministry. Sort of reminds me of Paul’s “fools for Christ” reference from 1 Corinthians 4:10.
Over the last five years, I have applied for pastor positions at different churches and have been the runner-up in several of those instances. I’ll be honest; all of those “rejections” were painful in different ways. It’s never easy being told that you didn’t get the job and I think that I would rather have been told that I finished eighth or ninth instead of second. To seemingly be so close and not get the job…it’s something that doesn’t get any easier. However, I have come to believe that God did not intend for me to land any of those positions. God must have a reason, a plan for me, other than those traditional churches. So over the last five years I have continued to learn how to trust God and persevere in my faith. Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
I believe the reason that I was not selected to serve at those established churches is because God is calling me to start a new church that draws on the strengths of my own unique ministry. Various ideas about where to meet have been presented to me by others interested in this idea, but as of yet – God – has not provided me with any real answers. So I have decided to take the remainder of this year to write about what God is calling me to do and to listen to God. I will write about the type of church that I envision and I invite anyone interested in this new endeavor to contact me with any suggestions or discernment that you may have. I do not have a timetable or any predetermined plans – I am leaving all of that up to God. As God leads, I will follow.
Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.