Tuesday, May 11, 2010

God's Call On My Life

I went to school to become a Youth Minister.  Graduated in 5 years from Ouachita Baptist with a degree in Biblical Studies.  Through the years of college, I had steadily been involved in various church activities and held all sorts of church titles, thinking that I was building experience.

I leave the church where I was at doing all sorts of things because I moved to Little Rock and married the most beautiful girl in the world.  She was about to take a job at a school and shortly thereafter, I got a job teaching in the same school.  I had thought that God had called me to bi-vocational ministry, because the church where I was at didn’t pay because they couldn’t.  All the while I still felt God calling me to church ministry.   I was gonna have it all.

Shortly after taking my job at the school with my lovely wife, I discover that there is a church opening for a Youth Pastor.  Thinking that this was the hand of God, I immediately threw my name in the ring.   And I got the job!  Things were amazing!  So, I thought.  What followed was a 9 month period of fighting, defending my job, pain, and heartache.  Every two weeks I was defending my job and every other month I was having to deal with issues that were already dealt with in the previous month.  I was lied about, undermined, and literally ambushed.  One time I went to meet a parent and a couple of kids to discuss some of their concerns.  I walked into the room to find that there were about three deacons and 8 parents with the entire youth all looking at me, voicing their “concerns.”  I felt like I was about to be shot.   Then the church ran into some financial problems and stated that me, and the children’s minister could no longer be paid.  The constant lack of leadership and in-fighting in the church which seemed to be directed constantly at me began to take its toll, and in June of that year, I left the church.  Crushed, feeling that God is not calling me to ministry in a traditional church.

A year or so later, I become Chapel Pastor at my school.  Finally, I thought, this is what God wanted me to do.  To be a non-traditional pastor, and for 3 years, I was doing what I felt God calling me to do.  This was the beginning of new things.  But, after 3 years, it was time for me to step down.  And it seemed that God was silent.  I would pray for what to do next, and he would not respond.   But then he started guiding me to something that I felt He was not calling me to do.  Over this past year, I have gotten to do pulpit supply (fill in for a vacant preacher) and speak at a revival.  I’ve gotten to be involved in some amazing ministries (creating a CBF of Arkansas group page making connections), as well as give help to a new pastor, and wanting to work with him to help grow his church.  But through it all, God has shown me that He is directing me back to pastoral ministry. 

And this is where it gets kind of frustrating.  I don’t really know where to begin.  I’m looking at schools to pursue graduate work, but I don’t know where to connect to get my name out there to churches.  At times I feel that God is holding back and I feel that I’m ready.  But I don’t want to rush it, but I want to know!   So this is where I’m at-God calling me to be a pastor but not knowing where to go or what to do.

Have you ever felt God call you to do something specific, and you’re not sure where to begin?  Do you ever get frustrated with God?  Impatient?   If you don’t mind, leave a comment and let me know whether I’m crazy, or that I’m not the only one who feels this way sometimes.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Current reads

Hey everyone, among the many thoughts, here are the books that I am currently reading:

  1. Jesus Wants to Save Christians
  2. They Like Jesus But Not the Church
  3. Transforming the Church in Rural America
  4. After You Believe
  5. Everything Must Change
Will post reviews as soon as possible.

Here is your question of the day:

What are you reading?

Oh yeah, one more thing:

Happy Mother's Day

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Jennifer Knapp comes out to a deeper discussion hopefully.

One of my favorite artists as a twenty year old was Jennifer Knapp. I loved her deep, thought provoking lyrics and her amazing guitar ability. In the early 2000s she announced that she was leaving the music biz for awhile. That is when the rumors came out about her being gay. Yet, no statement came out from her about it. Then she announced that she was writing music again.

I was saddened when I read the Christianity Today interview a couple of weeks ago, and revealed that she was gay. I recently read the Relevant Magazine post (which you can read by clicking on the title of my blog post). A lot of comments were that she said a lot of nothing. That she avoided the questions and she didn't go into too much depth about her beliefs and what made her choose this life.

In regards to the "saying nothing by saying a lot" mentality that a lot of the posts point to is a judgment that came too quick. Josh (who conducted the interview) did a great job on the interview, and that Jennifer is sort of coming at this as something she has accepted in her life, but is still trying to figure out what to do next.

Even though I still believe that Homosexuality is a sin, I am reminded of my own sins. Just like I believe lying is a sin or stealing or neglecting someone who is not like you or me is a sin. There are no categories of sin, which one is worse than the other. As a follower of Christ, it is not my place to judge, only to guide and direct them to the Savior, and then to walking beside them every step of the way. To love those like Christ loves us is what we are commanded to do (for those who are followers of Christ) as brothers and sisters. No matter what their station in life may be. Even if they live a lifestyle that is contrary to what I believe.

My prayer is that we who are Christians will take this opportunity and be an encouragement to Jennifer and to pray for her in her seeking the truth. To lift her up in prayer, is that what we are all called to do for each other?

I would love for this discussion to continue, so what do you think about this issue? Do you struggle with it being a sin? How do you attempt to understand it? How do you love the sinner and not the sin? Can you do that?