Ups & Downs… and the Development of an Interesting Resume
Talk about a whirlwind of emotions. On Wednesday, February 29, Rachel and I drove over to SMU to meet with my doctoral committee. After a pleasant two-hour chat they greeted me as “doctor” and declared I had passed both the project and presentation with highest honors. That was obviously a high point for me.
Thursday was pretty awesome too. I spent several hours printing two copies of the dissertation on some pretty expensive paper and then immediately drove it over to SMU so that it would be submitted and completely finished.
Then Friday rolled around and the honeymoon was over. I received word that it seems unlikely for a full time job with The Academy to be available soon. This job was our last best hope at providing sustainable income for our continued church planting work in Burleson. We’ve officially gotten to the point that we aren’t bringing in enough money each month to cover our expenses and I just don’t have the energy to get a 6th job.
We knew this was a possibility, but it was one we have hoped and prayed against fervently.
So, now what?
We considered attempting another round of fundraising in hopes that we could get Missional Monks established in the next couple years. But honestly, after four years of raising and receiving support, we’ve pretty much exhausted our resources. After a great deal of consideration and prayer we have decided that I will once again seek to find a paid ministry position with an established congregation.
We are incredibly saddened at the thought of leaving Burleson and The Gathering. We had truly hoped to raise our kids “here, among the people whose troubles are already evident to us” as Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove says. But we also feel compelled to feed those children – and I would like to live long enough to see them grow up.
There is still a possibility that an opportunity will arise with The Academy before we accept a job somewhere else. If that happens, we will obviously stay right here and continue in the ministry opportunities God has already given us. But if we take a position somewhere else, we will do so without reservation or potential exit strategies. My personality tempts me to continuously look ahead for the next thing and I have committed to cultivating a spiritual discipline of stability…which is one reason I’ve been willing to work 5 and 6 part-time jobs at a time over the last couple years. If we go, we’re going with full conviction and commitment to cultivating life with God and others in that place for as long as we’re able.
With all that said, I do feel strongly that God has prepared me, through experience and education, to bring a unique contribution, service and leadership to the church. So we are searching for a congregation which desires to cultivate missional life and leadership in community. We don’t know where in the US this search will take us or how long it will take to get there, but we are dedicated to finding a community of faith that will embrace our family and co-labor with us for years to come.
We would appreciate your prayers in this time…as well as any “heads up” about potential churches looking for a minister.