Monday, July 19, 2010

Into The Great Wide Open

"The missionary work of the non-professional missionary is to live his daily life in Christ, and therefore with a difference, and to be able to state the reason and cause of the difference to men who see it. His preaching is essentially private conversation, and has at the back of it a life which explains and illustrates and enforces his words. It is such a missionary work that the world needs today. Everybody, Christian and pagan alike, respects such work. When it is so done, men wonder, and inquire into the secret of a life which they instinctively admire and covet for themselves." -Roland Allen-
...Discerning and following God's calling on our lives is both the primary mission of the individual Christian as well as the most significant step we can take toward bringing healing to the body of Christ. Said another way, God knits together the body in His wisdom and sovereignty. That which is most healthy for the individual members is necessarily that which is most needful for the body.
Warren Cole Smith, A Lover's Quarrel With The Evangelical Church, (Colorado Springs: Authentic Publishing, 2008), 221.
I am stepping down. With those four words I began the process of liberating myself from the world of fulltime vocational ministry. I must be careful to help people understand that I am not leaving in anger, frustration, hurt, or bitterness. Truth be told I have experienced all of those in my tenure at the church but they aren't the driving force of my departure. It is best to never leave a place guns blazing. I don't believe I am doing that.

The reality is that I feel I can be more effective outside of the walls of vocational church ministry. I will come in contact with more non-churched people in the world of education than I could ever dream of inside the church. Being the light of the world doesn't matter if that light remains hidden safely within the walls of the church. No, its time to step beyond the boundaries and make a difference. That isn't to say that church staff members do not serve a purpose or don't have an impact on the world. Its just for me - I see the potential outside instead of inside.

So here we go: Into the Great Wide Open. I am sure it will be weird, different, thrilling, exciting, and potentially even scary. The reality is I haven't felt like that in years. I am excited to teach. I am excited to be around people for the majority of my job instead of the minority of it. I am excited to see what God has in store. Most of all I am excited that instead of just sitting, I am doing something. Good or bad, sometimes we just need to make headway in life.


Anonymous said...

I'm with ya, brotha. ALL the way. Godspeed. xoxox

Jeremy said...

I'm excited for you bro. Reminds me of when Michelle decided to go to ASU and leave our Christian University for the same reasons.

I know God will use you in amazing ways wherever you are.