As I have been trying to figure out my place in the church, I get haunted from the ghosts of my past. These are my ghosts … ghosts I let float around in the corners of my mind and life.
One of the pastors at church this morning stated to me that “sounds like you haven’t put the past behind you . . .”
It reminded me of what another pastor friend told me a long time ago, before entering into the paid ministry. At the time I didn’t think I was cut out for it because I looked at my past and evaluated it against the one who led me to Christ (Craig) and thought, “there is no way I stack up.” My friend then asked me, “do you believe Jesus forgave ALL your sins?” … I thought, and thought … and thought, then recognized how I hadn’t let my past go. Jesus did cleanse me, redeem me and redirect my eternity. That was the same week I responded to God’s call on my life to lead people in the capacity of being a pastor and then experienced some of the best years of my life in ministry.
I find my self in a similar position as I had been in before. I am no longer in the ministry in the capacity I had been in before. I have no title, no set hours, no huge continuous responsibilities. I have desired to get back into ministry (though no clue as to if that will be full time right now). But I know I have valuable things that God has allowed me to experience that would help others. At our church now I have had the privelege of being able to speak to men, help my wife teach the children, speak at a youth retreat, and preach a couple of times at our church … but no specific ministry outside the family.
My hesitation in moving towards a ministry arena is that others would look at me as trying to gain a position that I shouldn’t have because of my past (my ghost). It’s not that I am looking for a title or “fame”, but to be plugged into one specific area of the body would be very nice. At times, I felt like my part in the body was an ice pack … one that has some sort of reason, but never in one place long enough to determine what it’s function is. It is also not that others are looking at me that way. I have not had one person speak any negative thing to me regarding ministry or pursuit of ministry.
I think I have been waiting for the “writing on the wall” or for the coach to call me up to the game … but really, even though the church leadership should be seeking leaders, I still need to make a step forward by letting it be known I want to be used and to share in what capacity. A couple of scriptures pop up in my head about it being ok to desire leadership … as well as those that teach will be judged more strictly.
In recent posts you can see that I have been teetering on the idea of challenging men, but specifically training leaders. An obvious arena would be that of men’s ministry. At this moment in our church it is non-existent.
I am ready for the task. I am a leader, I should be leading. God help me to be bold and humble like your Son. Jesus take the ghosts from me and fill me up with your Ghost.