The Life of JaWS

A blog by Jason Sansbury

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

What is stirring in my soul...

So as I have been on these interviews for youth ministry jobs and have been driving around the southeast, there is something starting to stir in me.

At each of the job interviews, there has been a question in regards to what I want in a church. Which is a challenging thing for me. Because since I was 20 years old or so, I went where I was serving. Period. So to be in the market for an open church, it has made me think long and hard about what I want. Here is the list I give people:
1. I want to be at a church that I would choose if I were your average Joe living in that area. I want a church that can feel like home and be a healthy place for me.
2. I want a church committed to helping me grow in my gifts and graces in ministry. In all honesty, salary is important but being a part of a church that will allow me to grow, learn, be tested and be mentored in ministry is extremely important. One of the failings of the modern church is that while we do things like that for ministers, lay people in ministry like myself rarely have that.
3. I want to serve at a church that is committed to the idea of ministry being something that we are trying to awaken in the people sitting in the pews. Ministry isn't something just done by paid professionals and people in the pews are the spectators. My greatest joy at the last church I served were the adults that I helped equip, love and train to do awesome ministry. They rock and the kingdom of God is larger because of them.

And all of what I just shared is true. But there is this nagging thing deep in my soul where I wonder this "If this is the end of me being a youth pastor, what then?" It sounds crazy and the very few people I have talked to about it assure me that sooner or later I am going to land at a fantastic church. But if it doesn't happen, if it doesn't work out and I wind my working the late shift at Waffle House, what happens to my spiritual life?

Unfortunately, I have seen a close friend and partner in ministry flame out. Exhaustion, burn-out and not having people hold him accountable led to an amazingly bad decision and that cost him his career. And that seems to be it for him. A fading memory in the minds of those who God used Him to touch...

In the movie "Miss Congeniality" Sandra Bullock's character has a scene where she talks to her character's partner. She reaches a point where she says "I am the job." I feel that way right now and I am definitely not sure it is a good thing...


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