Thursday, December 16, 2010

My ministry call and journey

This is a short version of my call to children's ministry, and my process of practicing my call.  I am getting ready to begin the search for a full time children's ministry position in a church.

When I was in high school, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher.  I even had the opportunity my senior year, to help in one of the elementary classrooms for one class period each day.  I made preparations to go to the best teaching college around.  I had no question about what I wanted to do.

And then... (it never happens like this, but I promise, this is what happened)
One day I was driving down the road taking a jaunt home from church to pick something up before evening service.  I heard God's voice... HEARD it audibly.  I heard, "You need to be a children's pastor".  I thought that was ridiculous.  Ihad never heard of a children's pastor.  What would such a person do?  Where would they work?  How would you prepare for something like that?

I did not tell anyone about my encounter with the divine, at all.  I thought it was just plain silly.  Months later, someone asked what I was going to study at college.  When I told them education, a discerning pastor butted in and said, "but it should be children's ministry."  I was aghast.  I still did not tell anyone about this, I went to college and started studying elementary education. 

I loved college life, but quickly realized that I really did need to figure out how to study for children's ministry.  1 1/2 years after I started college, I moved to a school that had a youth ministry program.  I ended up completing a church ministry degree after 5 years of college (and 4 schools).  It was a wonderful adventure and I learned a lot about myself in this journey.  I went on to seminary and completed my Masters of Divinity, then I began looking for the perfect children's ministry position.

While I was in college I helped in a variety of capacities with children's and youth ministry at the churches I attended.  I had an expectation that I would easily find a church that wanted to hire me as a full time children's pastor.  I interviewed with 4 or 5 churches and got 1 offer.  I sadly determined that I was not the right person for this ministry.

I ended up working at a children's home with young boys who had been abused, many of these boys also abused other children.  While working full time (and a lot of over time), I tried to help with ministry at my local church.  I helped with youth, and then volunteered to lead the children's ministry.  I discovered that working more than full time and volunteering for a position that needed full time attention, did not work for me. 

I dated, got married, had a baby, had a foster son, and then another foster son, and then another baby.. all within a year and a half of our wedding.  My children's ministry was in our home.  I also helped with the church youth group.

Now we have moved, we have no foster children, I stay home with my boys.  I need to be involved with children's ministry.  I volunteer in the church nursery about once a month, but that is not fulfilling my call.  I need to begin looking for a full time ministry position.  I don't know what that will mean for our family.  It might mean that we look at moving again, or that we split days at home with the boys, or have to consider daycare.  We are at the beginning of another phase of our family faith journey.

Thanks for reading.  If you have any knowledge about churches seeking children's ministers, please let me know!

1 comment:

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