You may have noticed that I’m posting more frequently. I’ve detected a distinct correlation. The more I post, the more views there are on my blog. Aha! What an insight! So I’m trying. And when it comes to writing, it’s always a labor of love.
I thought perhaps I’d give you an update on my vocational progress. A week and a half ago I had my interviews for the renewal of my district minister’s license. I passed. You never know what questions the credentials board may ask – it could be personal, it could be doctrinal, it could be about your practical experience. Last year I went in for my first interview oddly relaxed. This year I panicked and spent the night before the interview trying to cram all 16 Articles of Faith into my memory. I wasn’t asked about any of them.
The most difficult question was on whether I have a call to preach. I mean a CALL to preach. I have no idea, which is troubling to some established pastors. And a little bit troubling to me, as well. To answer the question, I fumbled for an excessively long time about how much I enjoy preaching, but don’t have many opportunities, and how even when I preach it seems more like teaching, which is really more my strength – and what exactly is the difference between teaching and preaching? And how should I know what God’s long term plan is? I think I actually sounded defensive. But I still passed.
I’ve been experiencing mid-studies doldrums. I’m halfway through the Course of Study for ordination – I’ll have 13 out of 24 classes down when I finish this set in a couple of weeks. The novelty is definitely gone from doing school work, and it often feels like a grind. But worse is the sense that I don’t quite know where I’m going. I’m ticking off the classes, and I’ve got this title: Pastor. I still flinch when the people at church call me Pastor Sharon, but I mean…..it’s at least technically accurate. I could, theoretically, be the senior pastor of a church right now.
I just wish that I knew where I’m headed. Am I called to stick with Christian Education? To be a senior pastor? To be a nontraditional church planter? My heart is with young adults who feel marginalized by the church in one way or another. Cornerstone was such an amazing experience this past year – not just the speaking gig, but the many, many conversations with lovely out-of-the-box young men and women – and I came home thinking, “This means something. This experience is a signpost. My calling is to minister to young adults outside the church.” But here, back home, I feel stuck. I don’t know what my next move should be. How do I even meet young adults without coming across like a weird middle aged creeper?
And so I keep praying, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is not picking up what you’re laying down.” I know I’m not crazy: He did call me. I mean, He did CALL me.
Now I just wait for further instructions.