Those who know me or have followed my blog for any length of time know that my profession is that of a worship pastor or music pastor in the local church. You also know that I have been out of full time ministry for about 18 months now.
The circumstances surrounding our resignation from our previous church are irrelevant at this point. I will assure any that may wonder that the was no moral failure behind the resignation. Circumstances were what they were and after prayer, we felt that it would be best for us and for the church if we resigned. Period.
There was a brief period of time where we wrestled with the question of whether we would ever get back into full time ministry. Ministry is HARD and unfortunately, unless you have experienced it firsthand, you can’t possibly grasp how hard it is.
Our time away from full time ministry has seen heartache: Beth lost her father and I lost my grandfather; adversity: four weeks before completing her Bachelor’s degree at Charleston Southern, Beth was on an operating table having a benign tumor cut out of her brain; celebration: she graduated and walked with her class 4 weeks post-op, and I have lost ninety pounds since her surgery; and difficulty: we made the hard decision to move in with my parents in Maryland in order to lessen the financial strain of being out of work.
However it has also been a time of growth for us. Our marriage is stronger than ever. Our daughters are doing well and Hannah’s asthma, while still present, has not put her in as much as an ER since our scare three years ago. We both have seen an increase in our passion to study God’s Word and spend time with Him. In short, we believe that it has prepared us to step back into full time ministry and be more effective than we havs ever been.
No. I’m not announcing a new job. We are in the interview process and are very excited to see what is going to happen, so please keep us in your prayers.
So, back to the original statement of why I will not quit. It all boils down to this: I am called. My time away from the front lines of ministry, while beneficial, has only further fueled that fire in me to get back on the front lines.
In recent days, I have received two gentle (or maybe not so gentle) reminders of the importance of not quitting. The first came in the form of a book. Sonny Holmes, who was briefly our pastor before he retired, has written a book that he so graciously sent me around Thanksgiving. He knows our story and has been a trusted friend as we have walked through these recent months. The book encourages you to finish the job. While it is written to ministers, the principles in this book can aptly be used to encourage one to keep going even in difficult circumstances. Check it out!
The second reminder came within two days of finishing Sonny’s book and it came as part of my daily Bible reading plan.
Wow. How is that for a stern warning for pastors (shepherds) to stay in the game. That is just half of the verse, though. Here’s the rest.
OK, God, I get it! You’ve called me to do Your work and I must not allow myself to even think about walking away from it until You say it’s time.
Quitting? Not an option. There is work to be done.
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