A Brief Update and a Response to the Question: “Where Did You Go?”

bible_and_coffee

Many people have been asking me how Seminary is going, how things are going at church, and so on. If you follow this blog you’ll also noticed that I haven’t posted anything in a good long while. In light of that, I suppose I ought to share a bit of what has passed in recent weeks with the broader community.

Allow me to answer the second question first, or at least, part of it. Much of what I posted came from devotions I was leading early in the morning at the mission. I decided to stop doing that, at least for now, for two main reasons. First, I began to feel that I would accomplish more by being present with the guys one on one than by shouting a devotion at them as they wake up in the morning. I also found that my motives were beginning to distort… I was writing the devotions less for the men and more so that I could share them with others. I suppose that would be fine, but as I examined myself I saw that I was really looking for affirmation from the people I shared with; what started as ministry had become pretension.

Second, most of the devotions I wrote came out of my personal reflections on lectionary texts and other devotional reading. During this particular season in my life (see below), I found those reflections to be too personal and painful to share.

Now for the first question. Suffice it to say, some things happened with our church that made it impossible to stay. There is a lot of hurt, and a lot of healing that needs to happen. Fortunately God gives more grace; we parted as friends with our pastor. Because of the way Whitefield is set up (emphasizing a personal mentoring relationship with a local pastor and lots of practical experience), parting from our church also meant withdrawing from Seminary.

While I still believe God has called me to ordained ministry, the overwhelming message in the last couple weeks has been “not yet,” and for the first time I am fine with that. Too long I have used Christ’s church to serve my ambition rather than loving her… It seems I have as much repenting as healing to do. All that said, It will be a good while before I am ready to think about ordained ministry or Seminary work again.

As for the future of this blog… stay tuned. I’m likely to share a thing or two on occasion. I’m still reading, praying, and meditating; I’m just doing it more for the sake of my own soul than for the sake of writing or teaching. At this point my plan is to look back on things I’ve written or worked through over the previous weeks and re-work them if I think they would be beneficial for others to read. Be forewarned: there will not be much in the way of light-hearted writing in the coming days.

Until we meet again, may the peace of Christ be with you always.

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