Thursday, July 26, 2007

A somewhat brief update of our lives thus far...

Rather than starting the story from my birth and informing everyone all about my not-so-fascinating childhood, here's where we--Joel and Katie--have been at for the past year. Up until recently, I've been the interim middle school director at Hinson Church in Portland, Or. It's my first year of fully leading a ministry, which has been a huge learning experience. I spent much of my time philosophizing about church ministry and showing students how to follow Jesus. I learned a lot about leadership models, administration abilities, and spiritual discipline. Overall, it's been a blessing to have a job where I get to hang out with people I love and tell them about the God I love, but a hard road to travel.

In December, Katie and I graduated from college and were ready to step up into the big leagues of real life and full-time ministry. Unfortunately, by January it was clear that my role as middle school director would never be a full-time job. It felt like a door had been slammed in our face. We began to pray and seek whatever God was teaching us through this. After months of praying, seeking wisdom from mentors and friends, and late-night conversations, it became clear that I would be ending my role at Hinson. Not too sure how to explain that decision except that God made it strikingly clear to both Katie and myself.

In June, my friend and co-minister Jon was suddenly fired from his role as high school director at Hinson. This was one of those, "God, what the freak are you thinking?" moments in life. I was unexpectedly offered Jon's job for the next school year. Taking the job probably meant more finances, more time with the students I love, and more responsibility. It also meant not following where God was leading and not keeping a clear conscience or leading with integrity. Could I compromise my values and my obedience to God for a temporary--and possibly unsafe--ministry position? I decided I could not. I resigned. Definitely falls into the "wow, that was insanely hard" category.

So this week is my last week serving at Hinson Church. That is a scary statement to type, as we don't exactly know where God is leading us next. I've described it as feeling like Abraham in Genesis. God says to Abraham, "Leave everything that's comfortable and go. I'll let you know when to stop. And by the way, I'll bless you." So Abraham starts wandering...and wandering...and wandering, until he's about 1000 miles from what he used to call home. And God blessed him and walked with him every step of the way. We're trusting that God hasn't change since Abraham's day.

At the moment, we're staying in Portland, but who knows? We could end up anywhere. Definitely needing prayer and wisdom for whatever happens next.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Joel
    It's nice to know what was going on for you two during all this because I didn't really know. Thanks for all you did for us middle schoolers.