Since closing the church plant, a couple of years ago, I’ve attempted to maintain a grip on what I’ve always assumed my calling to pastoral ministry was supposed to look like. I did that by immediately diving into helping two different local churches while ignoring and never allowing myself to process the journey and the experiences I’ve walked through.
I’ve been full-time, part-time, and no-time, but I kept chasing the elusive sense of my perceived understanding of my calling.
In that pursuit, I’ve left pastoral positions, been fired from one, and walked through the closure of two churches while serving in pastoral roles. I’ve been a youth and associate pastor, assistant vicar, church planter, and rector. Furthermore, I’ve held credentials in four expressions of the faith.
One thing this past year has led me to wrestle with – and navigate through – is my understanding that since I felt the call to pastoral ministry in early ’98, I’ve invested too much time and energy into chasing the romantic notion of being a pastor in a local church when I should have just been enjoying the journey.
Being a minister isn’t contingent upon the setting, whether in a local church or outside of it.
Being a minister is about heeding that still small voice while laying aside selfish ambitions.
Being a minister is about holding on loosely and then letting go.
Being a minister is about just being one’s self, not the man or woman someone else wants you to be.
Will I be a pastor in the local church again? Probably, possibly; I don’t know. It’s in the Lord’s hands. I’m a minister, regardless.
It’s so easy to lose oneself in the pursuit when all Jesus asks is for us to come to him over and over again as we strive to love God and love people.
So, what am I saying?
Just let it go.
It was never mine (or yours) to start with.
Just trust the Lord and trust the process.
You, like me, will find your way.
Grace and Peace.