Why I am No longer a Local Church Pastor
Have you ever tried to put yourself into a box that doesn’t fit?
Or more than that… have you thought you fit in a box that you really don’t fit in? I certainly understand that experience. That is my journey as a local church pastor.
I am telling the story to help and encourage some of you. Maybe you’re not a pastor, but maybe you’re in a box doesn’t quite seem to fit.
Let me start by saying, “I am not against being a local church pastor.” I think we need more passionate individuals who will find their calling in serving the local church in this way. This is about my journey of finding my calling.
God created each of us in a unique way. Therefore, my path will not be your path…. but I want to encourage you to believe that God has a unique calling just for you. However, even more than that, I pray you take action to start moving down your path.
When I was a teenager I started sensing a call to help others through Christian ministry. In my understanding, at that point in time, that meant being in some type of full-time ministry occupation. Both of my grandfathers had been pastors and that was the framework I had for ministry.
I had a deep desire to serve God and serve people. I wanted my life to count for the Kingdom of God and I completely surrendered my life to Jesus Christ.
So I started forward on my journey to become a pastor…. I went to bible college, served in my church as a small group leader, began leading our youth ministry, etc. Everything in my life was geared around becoming a pastor.
Then God started to redirect me, he put in my heart a desire to start a construction company. It did not seem to fit with my plan. I met with my pastor and he encouraged me with, “If that is what God is putting in your heart to do… then do it and don’t worry about where it fits into becoming a pastor.” So I pursued starting a construction company and found a love for business that I didn’t know I had. It was a great season of life.. and we had a lot of success.
After about 5 years of running that company, I started sensing that God wanted me to do more to minister and make a difference in peoples lives. I processed that with Victoria, our pastors, and others. The door opened for me to pastor a new church plant. It seemed to me, that everything was coming together for me to become what I had always wanted to be… a local church pastor.
So I started down that road… We had some initial success, and God was doing good things in the ministry and I thought I had “found my calling.” I was bi-vocational which gave me the opportunity to still use my passion and skills for business. I thought it was the perfect solution.
However, I was burning the candle at both ends and my passion for both business and ministry, made it hard for me to focus. The result was that I and my family burned out. The decision was made for us to take a break from pastoral ministry. As I took the break and stepped back from things, I realized that I wasn’t confident that being a local pastor was the right fit for me.
God has wired me with passions for both ministry and business. Therefore, I started praying that God would bring those passions together for me into one focus. The result of this journey is the founding of Small Business Revival.
I know that God has created me to fill a unique part of His plan that only I can fill. I don’t have to be like anyone else, I don’t have to fit in a particular box… I just need to be myself.
[Tweet “God has created me to fill a unique part of His plan that only I can fill”]
I have no regrets of my time as a local church pastor, and maybe there will be a season in the future where I am a local church pastor again. But, right now I am at peace being a “Pastor” to entrepreneurs and small business owners. I love helping people realize their dreams, and I know that as they realize their dreams I am building the kingdom of God.
You see, just like the Kingdom of God needs pastors and evangelists, it also needs gospel patrons (This term comes from John Rinehart’s book of the same name) who will use their business abilities to fund and support the work of ministry with their time and money. There are those with wealth, who need to become more generous, but I also believe that there are those who are generous who need to learn how to create more wealth.
It is toward this mission that I am directing my efforts. Living out, and finding, your calling is a journey not a destination. God directs our path and leads us into those places of greatest impact and fulfillment if we will follow Him.
[Tweet “Finding your calling is a journey not a destination”]
I am excited about what God has in store. I am beyond ecstatic about beginning to teach the Bible in a way that empowers entrepreneurs to create amazing work… whether it is creating a business, music, works of art, a non-profit organization or a fundraising event.
I am amazed at the incredible work being done by Christian Entrepreneurs in all aspects of society.
Let me close by saying this… ministry is setting captives free through the good news of Jesus Christ. Maybe you are captive to a career box made by yourself or those around you. If so, I pray that this encourages you to go hard after Jesus and allow him to guide your path into all that you were created for…
But, it starts with turning loose of your grip on the box!
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Such an interesting perspective. I think that a ministry doesn’t necessarily mean that it takes place in a position of worship. Life, every day life, can be a ministry. A powerful one. Smart people understand that and use their influence in business to bring light, joy and uplift to others.
Agreed! Thank you for sharing your insights.