Pastor Who of What Now?

empty-pewsYou 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.

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About Sharon Autenrieth

Wife, mom to 5, homeschooler, Christian Education Director, idealist, malcontent, follower of Jesus.
This entry was posted in blogging, Christian Ministry, church, Daily Life, education, religion, spirituality and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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