*Warning: This is a pretty transparent and raw post. It’s been brewing in my mind and heart for months and I’ve been hesitant to post it.
It’s happened twice and I now know why.
Don’t get me wrong, it hurt. It left me baffled and scratching my head, but I now know why.
I wanted it so bad…each time and I now know why.
I Now Know Why.
Here’s what I wanted. On two occasions, after I left each of my previous church positions, a job description was changed and altered and it was the role that I had craved. After I left my position in Chicago, the position of Associate Director appeared and after I left my last church leadership position they hired an Executive Director.
To be completely honest, I craved both positions. Why? Because I’m a leader! I think I was already doing parts of those positions, but I didn’t have the title. And, I know full well, that leadership is not about titles! But, I really aspired to have those roles at my last two churches.
Regardless, I missed those opportunities. I do believe I would have done incredibly well in those positions. My work ethic, experience and support from the staff I lead were indicators, as well as my previous performance evaluations that I would have done great. Now, I will always have a giant learning curve and I would have had much to learn, but I would have loved the chance.
It wasn’t God’s plan. I now know why.
I know that what I’m doing with my life right now, is what God has called me to do.
I believe that with everything that I am. I have been given a vision and a dream from God and He’s released me to pursue this calling.
It’s the calling to Speak, to Teach, to Encourage, to Motivate, to Write, to Bring Joy and to Help others.
I was 13 when I stood in front of my church for the first time and gave a talk. I loved it. I was nervous as all get out, but it was an amazing experience. During high school, I loved any opportunities I got to stand up in front of my school or class and give a speech.
I was 19 and a church hired me as their youth pastor and week after week, I had the privilege to stand in front of the students and teach, I loved it.
I was 21 the first time a camp asked me to come to their camp and speak, I loved it. I’ve been doing it every since.
I’ve known for 25 years that God has called me to use my gift of speaking to encourage people.
But, for the last 18 years I’ve used that gift partially working and serving the local church. I’ve had the honor of working for churches of all shapes, sizes and philosophies. It’s actually been quite a ride.
To work at an extremely traditional church and then a large presbyterian church and then a contemporary church and then a church plant and then a mega church and then the mother of all mega churches and then another presbyterian church. What a ride!
I loved it because I believe in the local church and I believe what Bill Hybel’s has said a million times…“The local church is the hope of the world”.
I believe in the church so much that I almost planted a church this summer. I was close. The area that I live in, I believe, is in desperate need of a modern, forward moving and thinking church. And, I was praying and asking God if I was the man to help start this church.
And, these last six months, I’ve had a few really amazing opportunities come my way to step into the exact positions I have craved in the past as a church leader. There was an opportunity to plant a church, to be an executive pastor, to be a senior pastor, to be a student ministry pastor and to work along side of a church leader that is in my top 5 of men that I admire!
I prayed and I Sought God on these opportunities.
The answer came back.
It was no.
I now know why I didn’t get to wear the hat of Associate Director or Executive Director . It wasn’t God’s plan and it didn’t align with the calling He’s laid on my heart.
This calling hasn’t been an easy. It’s actually been a rough road. But, I do have a GREAT peace in my heart that I’m doing what God has called me to do and things are really starting to come together. These past 6 months have been the most I’ve ever worked in my life. It’s stretched me more than anything I’ve ever been through.
God is providing and He’s opening doors for me to speak and teach more and more. In schools, in colleges, in churches, at camps, at retreats, at trainings, at workshops and seminars.
I am honored and humbled to have been a part of all those great churches and I believe that I’m called to help the local church this season of my life. To come alongside it’s leaders, its volunteers and to stand in front of as many students and adults that I can and teach God’s word.
I now know why.