Some things you simply don’t see coming.
That passing car in your blind spot.
The identity thief who messes with your life.
A certain reality star/business man being a leading candidate for President.
Eighteen months ago I decided to quit my job in education. The reason was so that I could stay at home and manage our household. In addition to my home duties I’d continue to grow this blog and venture into freelance writing, both of which have happened to varying degrees in 2015.
With my freed up time, I was able to accept a part-time youth pastor position at our church in September of 2014. Having been around teens all through my years in education, this seemed a good fit for a way in which I could give my time and energy to the church.
Now, after a year of interaction with the group, my team of leaders and I are seeing great enthusiasm from the young people for the program we’ve put in place. It’s exciting to see them engaged with each other and growing in their faith.
This past summer when we took our high school youth to summer camp, I developed a distinct feeling inside that I could (and should) be more involved and engaged with our church. What happened when I returned and talked with our pastor was nothing short of extraordinary…and completely unexpected.
I Didn’t See This Coming…Ever
When you go to college the goal is for your chosen major to secure you a job in that specific field once you graduate. My undergrad was in psychology, with an emphasis on counseling and child/family issues. So presumably I would spend the rest of my working career being a counselor helping children and families deal with a wide variety of problems.
Well, I didn’t become a counselor per se with clients reclining on a couch recounting all their problems to my listening ear. What I ended up being was a teacher and principal for 17 years in a private school. Oh, wait…think I did any counseling there? Haha…Everyday was spent listening to and dealing with a child or family or teacher or staff issue! So I guess that psych degree came in pretty handy. Who knew?
During my years as principal specifically I developed some talents and strengths necessary to adequately fulfill my role. I learned and studied principles of leadership. I learned how to develop a team of people to build out departments and handle specific duties. I learned how to be organized and see minor details while still focusing on the big picture. And I believe I grew to understand people – their dreams, their needs and how to relate to them in a better way.
So I bring all that life experience into a meeting with my pastor several months ago. I share with him that I’m ready and willing to do more for the church than simply my youth pastor duties. I’m not really expecting anything to happen immediately, just want to let him know that I’m ready to serve if the situation presents itself.
It was obvious he’d been thinking about this (and me) for a long time because he laid out a vision for me to become executive pastor of our church.
What’s an executive pastor? Well, think administrative duties. Overseeing the entire church program so that everything fits neatly together in a cohesive way. From church vision and purpose to the needs of the congregation to maintenance to outreach…an executive pastor works with the other church leaders to ensure nothing falls through the cracks that might hinder the church experience for the members. This is what he wanted me to consider.
I didn’t accept immediately nor did the other church leaders approve it on the spot. But, after some more discussion and prayer by all parties, four weeks ago I started as part-time executive pastor.
So part-time youth director…part-time executive pastor…yes, you could say I’ve gone back to full-time work.
What Does This Mean For Luke1428?
The short answer to the heading above is “I don’t know yet.”
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed giving personal finance advice and sharing my faith on this blog for three and a half years. Since I’ve been thinking about and heading in this new career direction, my writing has slowed. I’m down to one or two articles a week at this point. There is simply so much to do in this new position. Plus, it’s brand new and my schedule is still in a state of flux so I haven’t settled into a routine yet. I don’t know yet how much time I’ll have to continue my writing.
But it’s not only about time. It’s also about desire and family priorities. Where should they lie at this point? I know my mind is beginning to think more and more about church responsibilities and less about personal finance. Plus, as I’ve always said here, next to my personal faith my family is the #1 priority in my life.
I don’t want the website to sit here without content being posted. So as I see it the options are to continue writing several times a month as time allows or sell the site. Both options present positives and negatives. So I simply need to give it time and think that part through. If you are a blogger I’d welcome your advice on the matter.
What I’ve Learned From All This
The timing for this opportunity couldn’t be any better. And I know it’s the right thing to do because I have peace about it. When you put timing and peace together, that’s a winning formula for making the right decision.
What I’ve learned yet again going through this transition is that it’s fruitless to try and manage the future. We simply can’t. Never in a million years could you have convinced me five years ago that I would start a blog and meet so many incredible people. Or even two years ago that I’d be stepping into a pastor role at a church. The future is 100% unpredictable with certainty.
The best we can do is plan for the future with the knowledge we possess in the present. Then when “it” comes – whatever “it” is – make the best decision possible based on the timing, the present need and your feelings about it. Any other attempt to predict or manage the future only invites worry and distracts us from so many precious moments in the present.
Questions: Have you had an unexpected event recently? Are you presently thinking about changing your life direction? How do you decide the path to take when life throws you a curveball? What advice could you give me on what to do with Luke1428?