Why I gave up on full-time ministry (or thought I did…)

It was quite a while ago and I did give up on it, but here I am once again. I’m standing at the threshold of the door once more. No I don’t have a church looking at me or have my resume “out there” yet but what I do have is prayer. My prayer as of late has been “God prepare my heart to minister where you are calling me and prepare the hearts of those I am to minister to.” My last experience as a staff member was not a great one, but I did learned from it. Looking back I realized that I should have walked away before I started. The pastor and I didn’t see eye to eye on many things and I, being in my first ministry position, didn’t voice my disagreement to him for many reasons. He is still a man of God, called by God and I respect him greatly.

Our family pastor said to me a few months back when we took some time to reflect on the experience that I was set up for failure. The church was not a good fit for me nor I for it and I didn’t take the time to realize that before taking the position. Looking back I can see it and in that time of reflection I am able to move forward. I’m headed back through that door once more armed with knowledge I did not have before. I have matured (if that is possible) and become more organized and independent. I have a better understanding of who I am in self as well as in Christ, and an understanding of what gifts he has given me to use for him. I thought it would be helpful to list a few things I learned from that experience so here they are.

:: In the interview with the pastor if he says, “If I ever ask you to leave, you just leave” you need to shake his hand, thank him for the opportunity, and exit stage right.

:: If you’re a full-time college student, never, NEVER take a part-time job as minister of youth & minister of music. It’s very difficult to balance both & there is no such thing as part-time ministry. Period.

:: Don’t take a job (while in college) that’s an hour away from where you live, it makes ministering to people very ineffective.

:: Without parental & church member support within the youth ministry you are doomed.

:: There has to be room for failure. Face it, your not superman, it’s going to happen.

:: There has to be room for change, for adaptation. We should reflect and rethink those areas that are ineffective and if it’s not working… dump it. Don’t be a poor steward by throwing God’s time & money away.

:: Never tell the pastor that you think the flower lady should give her part of the youth portable (25% + of it) back to the youth and move the flowers somewhere else (I even offered part or all of my office which didn’t fly).

:: You need a mentor outside of your church… yes, even if your the head pastor.

:: most importantly, love God & love people.

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~ by Dan Browne on October 6, 2006.

One Response to “Why I gave up on full-time ministry (or thought I did…)”

  1. I didn’t know going into my previous position how badly I’d been set up to fail, and I thank God that I’m in a place now where I’ve been set up to succeed. I still have a lot of doubts about my abilities due to the failures I experienced at my last place.

    As for minister of music and minister of youth, those are pretty much both full-time jobs… you were set up to fail (as was I, as pastor of youth and contemporary worship)…

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