I’ll be honest with you… because you know we’re like BFFs… aren’t we anonymous reader?
Why I stay is a question that pops into my head on an all too frequent basis, as I know it does for others in my denomination.
Recently I touched on the Growing Atheism in Clergy that I have been witnessing all too often. I promised to write why I stay… so here is my attempt.
Since I began wrestling with my call into ministry in 2003 after a very personal and powerful encounter with God in worship on January 12 of that year, there were times when I really questioned where I was to practice this ministry. In particular whether this denomination was the one for me.
I honestly can say I researched pretty much every option I could before somewhat resigning to the fact God was calling me to this denomination and no other. So the process continued to unfold. I’ve written about my experience.
Why do I stay?
It’s such a tough question to answer. And it’s not one I really expected to wrestle with so much when this journey began 11 years ago.
But when I think about it, I stay for a number of reasons. Here are a few.
First, I stay because of the people. When I passed the fifth anniversary of my ordination this past Spring, I mentioned the wonderful people I’ve met over the years who have support and prayed for me (and those are just the one’s I know about).
People are one of the major reasons I stay.
Second, I stay because I love what I do. I love working with people. I love how my work is about engaging people and building relationships. I love the freedom my vocation allows me to explore a wide variety of ministry opportunities through the urging of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, I stay because God called me to serve in the church. I could have very easily ignored this calling and continued working in technology. But the call was far too clear, God has other plans for me. I trust God to lead me as He has for some time now, as a leader in His church. God has never turned His back on me, so how could I ever turn my back on Him?
Are there times when I’ve felt far from God? Sure, but that’s usually my fault (okay, maybe it’s always my fault).
God has remained faithful to His promise to me. God has continued to reveal Himself to me in the work I have been doing and in the people I have been meeting. God has shown Himself in people coming to Jesus Christ all around me as I watch His work in action. God has sent people all over the world, continuing to do so, to heal and teach.
Some people think there are no more miracles? I have seen otherwise. They might not be as earth shattering as turning water into wine, but hearing stories of answered prayers, hearing stories of healing, hearing stories of divine encounters, hearing stories of lives changed through these Holy experiences are showing me God is still very much active in this world.
God’s Word and work are more than ample reasons. I’ve seen it. I’ve heard it. I know it.
This is why I stay.