Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hello, Are You There God? It's Me, Dennis.

Today has me feeling somewhat depressed, pretty much like the rain that is falling outside. I feel like I've made a mistake, and that I am utterly alone. I feel that my passions are going to waste. And most of all, I feel like the wider church really isn't interested in mission and ministry, but being taken care of. The church is either to comfortable or too cynical to really do mission. And I feel like I deal with this in aching silence.

If you guessed that I am thinking about my call to ministry yet again, then you are correct.

Part of this stems from coming to the realization that I can really do ministry at the church I attend. I can do things like preach and help with worship, but until a pastor is called, I can't do much more and when a pastor is called, I will probably have to leave the congregation to let that person be able to do their ministry. Of course because of the training and probably because of the Aspergers, I keep wanting to want to be helpful. In my mind, I think, I have the skills and want to be helpful. But I really can't do that there for the reasons stated above. It makes sense, of course, but it still hurts to know that you can't use your skills and calling at a place you care for.

I have sent my profiles to other congregations, but have been turned down. That makes sense too; because over time I've discovered that I can't be an effective solo pastor. I'm good on a team, but terrible running the show. But again, it hurts. My skills are not needed there.

Then comes a desire to start/re-start some sort of new ministry. There are a lot of things that I would love to do that aren't being done in other Disciple congregations in the area and I would love to do it with others, but the fact is, there are no others. I've shared this idea with friends who were involved in Disciple churches and others and some have express interest, and then you never hear from them. Many of these people seem to complain that the church isn't really living out mission, but when given the chance to help create something, they do nothing but complain as if bitching will automatically change things. The only thing that will change things is when people want to change things and get their hands dirty. So, again, I feel hurt. My skills aren't need here, either.

All of this has me asking: where in the world am I needed? Where can I live out my call? Is there no place to go? Did I make a mistake in going into the ministry? Should I join the countless others who have left the ministry and just close the door on this?

I do wonder if this has all been a mistake. Other pastors have people who have mentored them in ministry; who have helped them as they discerned the call and who support them after ordination. I really haven't had those people in my life. I don't feel like I have a community where I can discern God's will. I've always felt on my own with this; it hasn't even felt like God is around at times.

Yes, I know, I am bitching here. I am probably not supposed to be doing this on a public blog. I should be talking about some cool website or this cool picture I took. I should put my best face forward, but frankly, I just don't do that. If I'm feeling bad, writing is a way to describe the feelings.

What I long for is a sense of belonging. To be in a place where I can put my skills to use and where I am spiritually and emotionally supported. This isn't about getting a full time call with pension; this is about finding a place where I can do ministry and not be told I am not needed.

I have to have hope that things will change. But hope is hard to come by these days.

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