It’s been five years…
Two babies, a couple of misplaced pets, new family gained, and way too much sand brought home…it’s been five years of God’s faithfulness demonstrated to a couple of lovebirds who too often doubt, whine, wonder, and sometimes… simply trust Him to be true to Himself and His children.
Five years ago, my man and I had been going through a year-long process of praying, considering, talking, receiving counsel, and praying some more. For ten years we’d been in youth ministry, and for six years he’d been an official youth pastor, and a very good one at that – in my opinion. Yet for all those great years, we’d realized working with youth was not where we felt called to stay forever . Rather, we began to desperately seek a connection to whole-family ministry.
It also became a passion of my pastor-hubby to minister to men, and he was finding more and more of his time was being put towards building up men of all ages in their faith walk. These two big elements, and a whole lot of others became the driving force behind us considering a new ministry. As the days and months went by of awesome youth trips, concerts, missions trips, lock-ins, bake sales, pizza parties, and youth group…the growing desire to shepherd the parents, grandparents, and community, along with those teens they dropped off each week grew and grew until it was decided we had to move into another area of church ministry – one where he could use his gift of preaching to reach all age groups
After resigning at the end of 2009, we were sitting in a newly purchased home, with very little money, no job, and absolutely no idea where God was going to lead us next, other than my hubby feeling led towards a lead pastor role. He was sure it was to a small church somewhere, around the 80-100 attendee mark. I was sure it was to a bigger church, or at least one the size we’d come from, around 300-400. So, being the administrative one in our relationship, I got busy sending his resume to (about 90) churches looking for a shepherd. They were spread from our location at the time, to Africa, New Zealand, Holland, South America, California, Boston, and everywhere in between. I started to get excited that God might move us someplace exciting. Someplace with lots of people to touch with His love and grace.
Along the way, a little place on the coast came up in one of my searches online. I ignored it, but later in talking with my guy, was gently reminded no place was too small (this town had a population of 1200), and I should send it anyway. He brought up the thought that someplace there was a little church praying for a pastor at that very moment, and we shouldn’t overlook anyone within our scope of search. I sent the resume, but hoped some other poor guy would get chosen before they had a chance to look the thing over! Great attitude, eh?
Some churches responded, some were mute. Some said they weren’t interested, others said send us more info. Within in a month we were actively being pursued by four churches. There were sermons being sent, interviews being conducted, references being contacted. Most of them were the size we’d come from, but somewhere in that month, that tiny little church on the edge of the sea became one of those churches. And they were the first to ask us to come visit. And so we did.
I can’t say I had the greatest attitude at that point either. Infact, I was very distraught that we were headed to the coast at all. I’ve never liked the coast for anything more than a short vacation destination. To me, the coast has always meant cold, foggy, and a little scary. After all, there could be a tsunami at anytime. Right!? Years of family vacations to THE COAST weighed heavy on my mind and I dreaded the thought that by some chance this crazy small town thing might actually work out.
(to be continued)
All professional photos courtesy the kid-friendly, efficient, sweet, kind, Applewood Photography