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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:11 pm

My wife is ready to pack our bags and go to Pinewood.† I, on the other hand, am more hesitant as I know she will have a 1 1/2 drive every day to keep her job.† Who would take care of her mom back here?† I don't want to let these things hold us back if that is where the Lord wants us, but I don't want to do the wrong thing, either.† I am terrified of going out there and falling flat on my face and have moved to an area where there is even less than there is here.

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Jen5

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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:35 pm

I know you know this, but sometimes we need a reminder to stop our worry and trust the Lord. From Elijah: "Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord" and Isaiah "In you silence and trust is your strength" Be still Chris and you will hear.
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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:02 pm

I don't think you have a peace about this. It's OK to be scared yet trust God enough to step out of the boat onto the water, but the thing that bothers me most in your situation is neither party really know one another.
Earlier you wrote wrote:
While the church hasn't heard me preach, the committee and deacons have via video. †They want me to come as their pastor.
Frankly, I'm shocked they'd accept someone without getting the greater church to meet them in person. There's a lot more to pastoring than preaching. There is no WAY I'd pick up and move in that situation. While I understand they could use someone closer, if you do accept this, I'd keep where you are for a year maybe to see how things go both with the church and your wife's mother.

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Jen5

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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:37 pm

One thing's for sure, the church needs to fit the man and the man needs to fit the church. Maybe a formal trial period (interm pastor for three months or something like that) so that you can decide if it's right for you and they can decide if you're right for them.
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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:14 pm

Now THAT is the kind of advice I've been waiting for someone to throw out there.† Neither of you are saying not to go, but both of you ARE saying that I should proceed cautiously as they have not had the church formally meet me.

Actually, as many churches here do, if I signal my intent to proceed, they would have me come one Sunday and preach/have a big dinner.† The people could meet me at that time.† They would then vote the following week.† With my current church, I'd have to give them at least 30 days notice of separation as per my hiring agreement.† The new potential church would have a chance to meet me before I was voted in or not.

I also like the idea of the try it first mentality since it is a big move.† There again, if voted in as their pastor, most churches have a 3-6 month trial period where they would vote again to decide if we were a great fit.† I'd hate to pack up and move and not know if we were permanent or not.

I also like the idea of sticking closer to where we are for my wife's job (she makes great money and only has 11 years left until retirement--something we need to consider, too) and for caring for her mom.† My mother-in-law has always treated me with great respect even when I was undeserving.† She is the only parent we have left.† My wife has a sister who is having some big health problems of her own and may not be able to care for their mom if we were out of the picture.

I will definitely ponder these things this week as I am walking the beech in prayer.† Florida, here I come!!!!

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rockerVu2

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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:38 am

It's hard to say what to do.

The advice Jen had is a wonderful advice.
On this way you can see how it is to be the pastor of this church.
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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:17 pm

I need thise prayers tonight desperately, friends. I have to give my intention as to whether I want to be considered for the pastor of this church.† I am conflicted as it would be a good opportunity but would put so much extra on Holly.††

Aside from that, again I feel like heaven is silent.† I have always just known what we were supposed to do when an opportunity arose.† This time, I feel so conflicted and my stomach is tied in knots.††

Lord, I need Your confirmation.† While I know You want me to be patient, I need an answer NOW!† I will trust You for the answer and to lead where You would have me to go.† Amen!

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Fundy

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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:14 pm

Praying for you alldat.†
Also, it is nice to see Holly being so supportive of you, and willing to change locations yet travelling to keep her job.
You have a great wife there, alldat!

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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:39 pm

Praying.
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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:34 pm

I do have a great wife!† She has been extremely supportive through this whole thing.

I never had peace over this.† I also never had a burden for the church.† So, I turned down this opportunity.† I want the same excitement that I have had before every church I have ever served in before I went.† I never felt that this time.

I know--you can't always go by feelings.† However, that is ALL I had to go on.

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Driven

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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:31 pm

I'm curious. How much have you considered stepping out of pastoring altogether, at least for the time being? It seems that you have a desire to keep on pastoring, but maybe God has something different for you in mind. I believe you won't be disappointing God if you decide to step back and focus on your friendships and relationships at work or in the community. It's of course not up to me to tell you what you should do, and I don't know what's deep in your heart on the matter, because God may well have given you the calling to keep this up, although nothing is clear now. I'm just wondering if the next step for you is just letting go of pastoring for a season.

Then again, I'm probably forgetting about similar discussion in this thread. Again, there's no shame in stepping out of formal ministry, if that was worrying you. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:24 pm

I had a pastor tell me that when he got no answer to prayer he decided to not change anything.† Kind of the way I have approached a "non-answer" to prayer...kind of treat it as a "not yet" or "not the right time/place" kind of response.

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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:38 am

Now I've read you never had peace about this I dare to tell you that the quiet of God can be the answer on your question don't do it.
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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:04 am

Many, many months have passed and I am spiritually drained.† I don't even know if I actually feel anything anymore.† My apathy has reached an all time high.

My church is still without a pastor and has few applicants.† I am not sure how long we can go as we have started losing people.† Many that leave go to the church that split off that handpicked who they started with.† I just don't care anymore.

I need a change.† I need a change in my heart.† I need a change in places to serve.† I am just tired of feeling nothing and not caring. I am just going through the motions of life in everything--not just church.† I feel like a mindless automaton just doing whatever is prohrammed.† I need a major move of the Holy Spirit to ignite this heart, to give direction for the future, and to put me on a path where I could serve and do it well.

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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:41 pm

Certainly sounds like you need a change.† Have you thought of maybe attending another local church just one weekend and see what happens?

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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:45 pm

Every time I have come to this thread and read about your struggles to find a new life path I am flooded with the feeling that you need to make a short term change to find your long term change. When I read that you feel nothing, Chris, it makes me so sad. And yet, you clearly want to serve. From that fact alone, I am filled with the sense that you would benefit from focusing outward to awaken the inward. If you could remove yourself from the situation for a week or two, not to holiday, but to serve others, you might find the clarity that you need. Join a Hurricane Harvey Relief mission for a week or something like that where you can mindfully leave your woes behind in Tennessee to focus on the task put to you (whether it be building a house or preparing lunch for the crew).
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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:52 pm

Quote :
Certainly sounds like you need a change.† Have you thought of maybe attending another local church just one weekend and see what happens?

When you are the only paid staff member at your current church, it is expected for me to be at our services.

Quote :
From that fact alone, I am filled with the sense that you would benefit from focusing outward to awaken the inward. If you could remove yourself from the situation for a week or two, not to holiday, but to serve others, you might find the clarity that you need. Join a Hurricane Harvey Relief mission for a week or something like that where you can mindfully leave your woes behind in Tennessee to focus on the task put to you (whether it be building a house or preparing lunch for the crew).

While that sounds great, I am bivocational so I have two jobs.† The 2nd one has been in hiatus for Christmas break as I work at a school.† That starts back up tomorrow.† Going anywhere on a service project of that level would be at least June in the coming.

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Driven

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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:06 pm

alldatndensum wrote:
Many, many months have passed and I am spiritually drained.† I don't even know if I actually feel anything anymore.† My apathy has reached an all time high.

My church is still without a pastor and has few applicants.† I am not sure how long we can go as we have started losing people.† Many that leave go to the church that split off that handpicked who they started with.† I just don't care anymore.

I need a change.† I need a change in my heart.† I need a change in places to serve.† I am just tired of feeling nothing and not caring. I am just going through the motions of life in everything--not just church.† I feel like a mindless automaton just doing whatever is prohrammed.† I need a major move of the Holy Spirit to ignite this heart, to give direction for the future, and to put me on a path where I could serve and do it well.

I've been feeling dry in my own way for the last year. I won't say I can understand how you feel, but I guess we're along similar lines in our own situations. I don't doubt the factual reality of the Creator God, of Messiah Jesus, and of the Holy Spirit, nor do I doubt that he has declared me his child and heir. But as far as being passionate about it, I'm sadly lacking. I've barely touched my Bible in the past year. Preaching goes in one ear and out the other, for the most part. My prayer life hasn't been much for quite a while. (I've in fact begun to wonder if I'm not going through a global sort of depression, judging by things in the rest of my life. I've started looking for resources in this area.) The thing that's holding me together is Creator's mercy and grace that do not depend on performance, and actual faith in that mercy and grace.

I say this not from a place of experience, but of brainstorming. It might not be a bad thing for you to let go of your official pastoring duties, if you're feeling so dry and done with this form of ministry, so that you can recharge and reconsider. I don't know if you'd be able to handle it financially, but I'm sure God can provide. You're not a failure if you let go of it - in fact, I'd respect that immensely. Perhaps it'll give you a chance to better reconsider what God wants you to do next. That could include simply living a "lay" life, as it were, of ministering to people in your community in different capacities. For me, my current plan is to go get my engineering degree, and work full time in engineering, but live in a place and/or a way that I can serve in some capacity. My current ambition is to work in an Indigenous community, and participate in holistic reconciliation - with God, with the community, with oneself, with white man. To simply live for God and work a lay job is not worse than ministry, in case that's a fear that's holding you back.

I don't know if any of that can or will help, and for sure I don't have the life experience you have, or full knowledge of your context. But I hope it can be part of your reflection. Take care Alldat. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:20 pm

Quote :
To simply live for God and work a lay job is not worse than ministry, in case that's a fear that's holding you back.

I have worked lay jobs more than I have actual ministry jobs.† While I have 17 years of youth pastor experience, only the last 8 1/2 have actually been paid.† I always volunteered before but had a job making more than both the school and church combined now.† There is no shame to work what my folks referred to as "public work".† Without a secular job, I couldn't afford to live on what my church pays me.† Working as a teacher's aid makes being a youth pastor affordable.† Oh, if you have a church that has 50-100 youth you can do just fine full time.† My church isn't there.† We were around 20 at one time before all the turmoil.† I am down to a total of 6 nowadays if they all show up.† We are weak in the youth department, but we are even weaker in the adults from 20-40 range.† We have one or two couples in that age group.

I do appreciate the kind words, Andre.† I will consider what you said with all the other advice I have been receiving here.† I also met with another youth pastor locally who is going through the same thing.† The difference between him and I is that he is still young enough that many churches will consider him for a youth pastorate.† At my age, they don't think that a guy can keep up with the kids.† But, having never pastored either, I fear that I may be overlooked because I don't have real pastoring experience as I have always worked in the youth departments.

I don't know what God is doing.† I just need something to break before I do.† It has been a hard row to hoe for some time.

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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:05 pm

Good words you have written Driven.
It's not always simple for me to express what's in my thoughts in good English.

What I know God knows what He's doing.
I've had dry times too.
When my mom passed away I wasn't able to read in the Bible.
This summer I was reading a book from a girl with acute leukemia.
She fully relied on God.


That was for me the point to pick up my Bible and read again.


I can imagine when you expect things from God and it's not going to happen and you pray, but the sky is from steel you get doubts.


You both are in my prayers, that God will help you to overcome a dry time in your faith.
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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:29 pm

Well said, Yvonne.
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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:51 pm

alldatndensum wrote:
Many, many months have passed and I am spiritually drained.† I don't even know if I actually feel anything anymore.† My apathy has reached an all time high.

My church is still without a pastor and has few applicants.† I am not sure how long we can go as we have started losing people.† Many that leave go to the church that split off that handpicked who they started with.† I just don't care anymore.

I need a change.† I need a change in my heart.† I need a change in places to serve.† I am just tired of feeling nothing and not caring. I am just going through the motions of life in everything--not just church.† I feel like a mindless automaton just doing whatever is prohrammed.† I need a major move of the Holy Spirit to ignite this heart, to give direction for the future, and to put me on a path where I could serve and do it well.
I hesitated all day to write this but I continue to believe I should.†

In this post, there are lots of statements about Chris - how he feels, what he thinks, what he needs... I donít want to beat up on you but you wrote almost three full paragraphs before you mentioned God, and when you did, it was really an indirect †statement about you.†

Iíve not made it a secret that I believe in open theology. I believe God can and does change his mind. But I donít believe He can change His character. If something in your faith journey is different - itís probably you.†

Leave your church! At this point, youíre probably so burnt out youíre not helping anyway. Leave! Go somewhere else and get refreshed. Quit worrying about what you have to do and wait until He does what only He can. Take a sabbatical and pray for direction and restoration.†

Again, Iím not trying to beat up on you and Iím trying to speak in love. And I know itís scary to leave someplace, any place, without a plan. But you canít save that church by sticking around. It hit the iceberg a long time ago and you have a very small bucket.
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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:10 pm

I'm in agreement with Ish here. It may be time for you to leave altogether, regroup, find resources, reevaluate, find new community, etc. scary as it may sound.
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PostSubject: Re: Uncertain times   Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:00 am

All I will say is that I'm praying for your situation Chris.
Maybe it helps you to go for a long walk and take the time to vent to God about the situation in your church.
I pray that God will show you the way to a fruitfull church where you can sing, praise and lead a group of kids again .. or maybe God has an other task to do for you than only being a youth pastor.
Don't give it up.
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