Wow... it's been a while! An apology is in order: Sorry for not officially letting you know that I was taking a blogattical for a few months, and why. Here are a couple reasons for the break:
1. My heart, mind, and soul were a mangled mess. The last six months have been pretty intense for my family and me, as we have had a lot on our plates while simultaneously wrestling with God and man over where He's taking us after seminary.
2. Blogging well requires commitment, and my priorities of family, school, ministry, and overall health (emotional, spiritual, relational, physical) consumed virtually all of my time. Not only have I not written any blogs lately, I have not been reading them. That has enabled me to get through a few thousand pages of summer school reading and work.
In light of these factors, I am very blessed to have had the break. While I still have a lot to accomplish in a relatively short period of time this summer, and next semester promises to be my heaviest to date, I'm feeling the need to subtly reengage the blogosphere. A lot of this impetus is due to my thinking and praying through where God would have us to minister post-seminary. This has been prominent in our thoughts, prayers, and conversation the last couple of months, and necessarily so. We need to be on the ground running by January, and still have few leads. Here's a quick update as to where we are in this process:
1. We've spoken with a few churches about potential staff positions, one of them very seriously, none of which ended up being the right fit.
2. I'm slowly pursuing licensing and ordination with the Evangelical Free Church, but looking to see if there is truly a place there for thoroughly missional work (versus missionally-bathed attractional models).
3. I'm expanding my network base and connecting with missional leaders around the U. S. to see where God is working and how I might partner with them, and they with me, in the Kingdom work to which He has called us.
I've spent a lot of time mulling through the church/ministry staffing websites, in addition to utilizing Trinity's Placement Office services (which are very good), but what I seem to be finding is churches looking for highly experienced professionals who can get behind their vision and mission. Makes sense, given the still predominant program-oriented ecclesiology that prevails in N. American churches. It may be that there is a place for me within those sorts of structures, and certainly many of them are doing Spirit-empowered, fruitful Kingdom ministry.
But I'm beginning to wonder if God has something else in mind for me. Church planting keeps coming back into my mind, yet I continue to run into roadblocks—not enough experience, not evangelistically gifted, family not ready for the risk, no time for fundraising (and no foreseeable sympathetic social network from which to solicit support to begin with).
I've been reading quite a bit of missional church literature and engaging some practicing missional thinkers, and my soul seems to be catching fire. Could it be that God is calling my family and me to a type of ministry that is neither in a traditional, existing church setting nor a standard church planting enterprise? Could He be calling us to make tents and exercise Kingdom leadership on a more life-on-life level? I'm beginning to wonder. What could I do that would be vocationally stimulating and financially sufficient? The Lord knows!
Anyhow, I can't wait for what God has in store for us. We're just praying for strength and perseverance during this last leg of seminary, and trusting God to lead.
His Kingdom come,