Have you ever been on a journey? Life takes you on those sometimes, whether you want to get on board or not. You don’t always have a choice, and to tell you the truth, it’s probably better that way. If you knew you were going to go on some of the journeys ahead, you’d probably jump ship ahead of time. Most of the time we don’t realize the journey has begun until we’ve pushed off into deep waters.
My journey has taken a bit of a twist in the last year. I made a shift from working full-time as a pastor to working full-time as an IT technician. I was very torn about the decision but I knew it was the right one to make. Ministry has been pretty much all I have known for the past 13 years. Any area of the church, you name it, I’ve probably worked in it. I love ministry, the people, the relationships, the challenge of helping people to move forward in their relationship with God and with each other. But there have been too many nagging questions I’ve buried deep under the surface in order to tow the company line.
As part of a denomination, I really didn’t have time to question if what I believed was true. It was written in my denominational statement of beliefs provided by the denomination and I was tasked with enforcing it in the local church. As I started to discover Grace and what that really means for the believer and for the church, it became more and more difficult to remain in ministry agreeing to uphold standards and theological stances that I could no longer commit to. Don’t misunderstand me. I value denominations. They provide a framework and support for both leadership and congregations to thrive and find mutual help and encouragement. Denominations can encourage community amongst their churches and can create momentum for the work of the kingdom. But they can also box in.
My two main passions: the supernatural power of God and the message of God’s grace. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to find a church that is pro supernatural and pro-grace. Lots of churches and denominations say they are pro-grace and pro-supernatural, but when it really comes down to it, most of them are too scared to rock the boat. They may be one or the other, but they are rarely both. I must confess, I have felt a little boxed in at times while working in the church.
During this past year away from ministry, my wife and I sort of dropped off of the face of Christianity. We still maintained our relationships with God, but mostly stayed away from church. We averaged attendance at church about once per month, but every month was a different church. Some people were a little appalled that we weren’t going to church regularly, but to tell you the truth, I enjoyed it! After having to be “on” every Sunday for 13 years, it felt so good to sleep in and enjoy a Sunday morning without pressure. It also allowed us to step outside the bounds of Sunday denominational indoctrination to study for ourselves and establish roots to our changing theology.
Our future is a bit of a mystery right now, but Roma and I are at peace with life and the decisions we have made. Roma has begun a blog of her own as well. Please take a moment to check out her blog at thegracediary.com. She has patiently supported me in the different roles I have taken on in the church over the past 13 years. I would have been lost without her. Now it is her turn to carry the mantle. She has an incredible passion for the unchurched, combined with prophetic giftings and a message and story that will move you. Stop by her blog and be sure to follow her!
By faith, through grace alone,