Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Seven Steps to Being an Effective Ex-Minister

I'm not sure if I'm normal in my experience of being an ex-minister, since there are no books out there outlining 7 steps to becoming a successful ex-minister. I can only hope that I am on the right path, as I feel like I am sailing uncharted waters. Others have likely passed this way, but I can't seem to find their travel logs. So I guess this is my attempt to leave a message in a bottle for those who come behind. When you're a minister, you have to take a position of authority, especially if you teach or preach on a regular basis. I was not in a weekly teaching role, like many of my old collegues. I spoke maybe on the average once per month. The pressure of coming up with something to say can be pretty high. (I still can't see how people do it week in and week out.) I don't know about others, but for me there came the temptation to say things that were sound and orthodox, yet had never passed the test of it in my own life. Prayer being one such subject. If someone asked me today to give a talk on prayer, it might go something like this: "I have no idea how it works, or even if it works, but I find myself talking to God alot." Compare that to all the countless things I've taught about prayer over the years and there in lies my dilemma. What have I offered people? What have I led people to believe about prayer that I'm not even sure about? This may sound like a dying man's confession and maybe it is, but I have to say that I like the freedom of being at this place of honesty. I've not given up on prayer. I'm just trying to sift through all the baggage that has come with it. I might want to go back to being a minister if I could pray these kinds of prayer. "God, help." "God, I don't get it." "God, where else am I going to go?" I found a new blog I like called MissionsMisunderstood. The thing I like about it, in addition to the content, is that the brother is annonymous. Sounds like its really disrupting some of his readers. The reason I appreciate the anonymity is that it reminds me of God right now. I really believe He's there, speaking, working, and acting for my good, but I have not idea who He is. I thought I knew, but that knowledge has been blown out of the water. So in the mean time, I simply try and listen and receive. Can't wait to see what comes next.


Blythe Lane said...

I just wanted to say "thanks" for sharing your thoughts on how life is evolving for you ex-ministeria. I have recently left a campus staff ministry and it is nice to have one going before me asking questions. So much of what you have shared has deeply resonated with me.


Matthew said...

Thanks for your honesty in your writing. I just found you through the Stepchild blog and a lot of what you say really resonates with me.


Watchman said...



Bryan Riley said...

hmmm, i've only read the last two posts, but i'm interested in where you are coming from and what God is showing you. Is the line between what people call secular work and ministry work really so wide for a Christian? Better question: Should it be?