Home > Looking Back, Ministry > It Finally Happened

It Finally Happened

(The final post about how I finally stepped back into full-time ministry.)

Joe and I met with the elders.  He presented the proposal that I join the staff of CrossRoads in a full-time capacity.  To say it was a surreal moment is a great understatement.  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  They were considering me as a pastor on their staff.

If someone had told me on January 1st of that same year (2008) that I would be sitting in a meeting to discuss the possibility of me joining any church staff, I would’ve thought that person had lost their mind.

“No way.  Not gonna happen.  That phase of my life is over.”

And yet so much had changed in six months.

This would be a monumental step in the life of CrossRoads.  Not that hiring me would be monumental, but the fact that the church would be adding a second full-time staff member.  The rest of the elders wanted to take their time to carefully consider the proposal.  Everyone agreed to pray about it for thirty days and we would reconvene for another meeting to discuss the issue.

In the intervening days, one of the elders had me over for dinner, I corresponded with another extensively by email, and I had long discussions with another.  I had gotten to know most of these men in the five years I’d been at CrossRoads and in the four years I’d served as an elder.  They wanted to make the right decision and I wanted them to make the right decision as well.

“Are you sure you want to do this?”

“Yes,” I answered and explained all the reasons why- calling from God, fulfilling that calling, having learned and matured as a person, and being freed from my past.

“What happens if next year we can’t afford to pay you?”

“Then I move on to something else.”

“Won’t you have hard feelings towards us?  You’re giving up a good job.”

“I won’t have any hard feelings.  I know what the possibilities are.  I’m a big boy.  If it happens where you can’t afford me and have to let me go, then it happens.  But, I don’t believe my future is in the investment business.”

Thirty days later we met again.  We discussed it a little more and then they dismissed me from the meeting so they could discuss further.  I understand they had a hard decision to make.  It was a financial leap for the church at the time.  They didn’t want to be responsible for me taking this jump and me then being unemployed a year later.

A few days later, Joe called me at work.

“So?” I asked.

“Would you like to join the staff of CrossRoads of Arlington church as a full-time minister, beginning on September 1st?”

“Yes.”

I literally couldn’t believe the turn of events that had taken place.  I would be leaving my job in the investment world and working as a minister.

Again.

Nineteen years after God had called me to the ministry, thirteen years after I had vowed never work to in another church again, after so many ups and downs, I had accepted this offer.

It was really happening.

And then I had to resign my job with the investment firm.  As excited as I was about the prospect of working for CrossRoads, it would still be hard to leave.  I had never been anywhere for ten years in my life.  I’d never lived in one place that long, never gone to school at the same place that long, or worked anywhere that long.

Next to Angela, these co-workers had been the people I’d seen the most on a daily basis for a significant part of my life.  In some cases, I had developed strong friendships.  I expected that they might be hurt, crushed, sad, and even confused.

My boss happened to be vacationing in Colorado.  This is not how I wanted to let her know.  I didn’t want to call her and give her this news, but I had no other choice.  That turned out to be one of the hardest phone calls I have ever made.  When she returned to the office, we discussed it again and that turned out to be just as difficult.

It wasn’t that she was mad or upset (at least I don’t think she was), but she hadn’t expected this change.  In hindsight, I probably should have informed her of the possibility of potential changes coming to my future.  I think in that regard I did hurt her.  Sometimes, you don’t realize the depths of the relationships with those around you, how much those people mean to you, until they aren’t there anymore.

Fortunately, we’re only separated by a forty minute drive and we still have lunch.  Occasionally, they even call for help on a project or an issue and I’m happy to assist them.  I am forever grateful for the opportunities they provided me and the friendships with those people.

Finally, that day came.  I cleaned out my office and left the firm.

On September 2nd (September 1st turned out to be Labor Day), I drove ten minutes to CrossRoads of Arlington Church for my first day of work as a minister.  I had no idea what the future might hold, how I might change or the job might change (which it most likely would), how the people would react, or even how effective I might be as a minister.

But when I sat down at my new desk,  I smiled.

I thought of all that I had been through, the dreams, the hopes, the highs, the lows, the valleys that never seemed to end, the frustrations, and so much more.

For so long I travelled along a path that I didn’t understand.

Now I did.

**********************
Now What?
When A Little Squeaking Brought Down The Walls
“Stay Here” and A Strange Conversation
That Which I Don’t Understand
You Belong Up Here
When They Wouldn’t Accept “No” As An Answer
“No thanks. I’m really busy.”
“I’m done. I quit.”
“Why me? Why here?”
“I Give Up!”

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Categories: Looking Back, Ministry
  1. April 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Awesome story of how God has used you. I love that you so openly shared the trials and tribulations that got you here.

    • April 7, 2011 at 7:15 pm

      Thanks for the comments. I really appreciate your reading of my blog

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