its been about two years since i left a full time ministry position. its been about two years since i have had to fake it. yes, that's right, i said that out loud. its not something i was aware of in the moment, and i would have never said i was faking it during that time. but i know now that i was indeed faking it. i was not being authentic, i was not "keeping it real" as the kids say on the street (for the record, i am not sure what the kids say on the street, i am decidedly less then hip)
a little background, i was a student pastor for about 10 years at two different churches. i worked in a mainline denomination church, both with a distinct identity for the congregation. one was clearly mission based, service based, had a heart for community both locally and globally. the other was a church that embraced its sacred music, the church took great pride in its choirs, its hand bells, even its pipe organ. i started young, i didn't really know what i was doing, i just tried hard to make a connection to the students, and i tried hard to make parents happy. i worked with leadership that had some profound effects on who i am today, both positive and negative. i was able to learn about myself, but not in the moment.
you see the problem was i spent a lot of my energy and a lot of my time just trying to make the right people happy. when i had conviction, when i had something that i believed in, i was usually not able to convey it because it went against the status quo. i was stuck. i was not following the leading of the Holy Spirit, i was not doing what God had for me. i was faking it. i had this sense inside me that there was more.
i was stuck, i found myself at a place where i was doing "ministry" and doing it effectively, but i felt lost. i felt like i was spinning my wheels. it was time to stop. it was time to step back from it all and really seek God's will, seek his leading. i needed to look at how God packed me, made me, see how as a unique creation i was allowing God to work in, with and through me.
i have spent the last two years doing that. i have had a chance to take time for personal spiritual growth, to lead a small group, to be involved in other aspects of church life that i was not able to be involved in as a student pastor. and i have learned so much, so much about how i was viewing myself, and more importantly, how i was viewing my God.
i know more clearly how God has built me, i am more aware of my own personal gifts, talents and abilities. i am seeking a better understanding of the way the Holy Spirit works through me and what my spiritualities are. i am knowing spending my time seeking God's plan, his will for my life and for my family. and i am more comfortable then i have ever been in my understanding of who i am.