We are happy to announce that Mr. Right has taken a new job – in a few weeks he will start working as a real estate agent in Fort Worth.
It does not mean that we are quitting ministry.
There are some crazy statistics out there about how many people who graduate from seminary are out of ministry within five years. I think it’s an unfair statistic. Because a lot of churches can’t afford to support their ministers full time. There are church plants that routinely use bivocational ministers – they work to support their family but their main mission is ministry. In fact, some people say that this is the future of church ministry.
This will be us for now. Mr. Right will have a “regular job” albeit a very flexible one so that he can support our family and still do ministry. We now consider ourselves bivocational.
The kind of ministry we like to do isn’t very clean. Mr. Right likes to work with internationals. The down and out. The poorest of the poor. The people that society tends to write off. You know, the kind who don’t have any money to support a minister. And there aren’t a ton of jobs out there for that.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t do it. We’re already voluntarily running an ESL ministry at our church, working with refugees from around the world. And Mr. Right volunteers with our Spanish-speaking ministry. And he is uniquely gifted at sharing Jesus with random people he meets in lines at grocery stores. The funny thing is, he’s never pushy, rarely brings it up – but people just see him and immediately open up and tell him their life stories. At the pharmacy. And the gym. Just about anywhere he goes.
So he will continue to do ministry. And he will continue to finish school. He’s scheduled to graduate with a Masters of Divinity (a 98-hour degree) in 2013.
It does not mean we will never again work at a church.
It does not mean that we won’t someday end up living on the mission field, finding ourselves as the outsiders who need someone to teach us the language and the culture.
But for right now, we’re going to do that for others, in the name of Jesus. We’ll just being doing it for free.
It does not mean we’re leaving our church.
In fact, we plan on staying for a very long time. Our church is our home, we love the people there, and we feel like we have great opportunities to minister there. It just means that instead of working through every service, Mr. Right will get to sit next to me, worship with me, maybe even ride together to church (something we have never done since we’ve gotten married). It means that we’re in a good position to find some new ministries to do together. As volunteers.
We need your prayers.
Change is exciting but also scary, especially for two people who are planners to a fault. We need prayers as Mr. Right changes careers and builds a new business. We really feel like this is what God wants, and we assure you that this is something that we have prayed over for quite some time. But navigating through change and finding new roles to serve in can be challenging. And I need your prayers because as always I battle against fear of the unknown – pray that God will continue to give me big faith and the wisdom to know how best to support Mr. Right through this transition.
We need your friendship.
We are thankful for friends who love us no matter what our jobs are, who trust us to follow the Lord’s leading for our family. Mr. Right will need your encouragement (and your referrals… wink, wink) as he starts a business from scratch.
We need rest.
If you go to church with us, you may not see us for a few weeks. Mr. Right hasn’t gotten to attend a single worship service in ten months. He needs to hide in the back of a sea of unknown faces and just worship. And so we have plans to visit the church where our brother-in-law leads worship. The church that Mr. Right’s parents helped plant. We may take an out of town trip that doesn’t involve us driving back at midnight Saturday night so Mr. Right can make it to work the next morning.
But we will be back, with batteries recharged and hearts excited for a new chapter.