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Saturday, June 13, 2009

San Francisco: More than a Job


In January, while Taryn and I were in NYC, I was miserable. I hated my job, the weather, and being so far from friends and family. At work, during those difficult evenings, I opened a word document and scribble down some dreams. Dreams for my family. Dreams for my city. Dreams for my career. During one of those evenings I wrote this:

I think I am supposed to be a pastor. Not pastor as you may know pastor. Not the guy in the suit beating his Bible and taking your money. Not that there is anything wrong with that person, I am just not that guy. I think I am called to create positive environments that bring people together so that they may feel loved by God and one another. I believe that I have a God given ability to call/send/direct people towards intimacy. That sounds like a pastor, doesn't it?

But then there are moments, days, even months where I think I have "more" to offer. I think there is more to my calling then the church I have known. More than meetings about sermon series. More than arguments over worship style and theological position on natural disasters. More than the building, the strategy, and the marketing materials. More than membership policies and small group sign up sheets. More than efficiency and numbers.

I hope for a room full of people. All in love with one another. Knowing that they can ask anything of anyone and it will be done. I imagine honesty about our pain and 199 person-sized shoulder to cry on. I imagine mourning with them and knowing their death so that they may better understand life. I imagine a faithful group. Faithful to one another and the convictions inside themselves. I imagine this to be a welcoming place. A place that invites others to relationship without coercion, indoctrination, or violence. I imagine something new and infectious. I imagine art on the walls and ideas fueling our conversations. I imagine risk and yet safety. Boldness yet humility. I imagine both social and personal change. In short, I imagine redemption for many through a love for all.

Tomorrow I put the hypotheticals to rest. No longer can I just prose about what I hope for. Tomorrow I begin the hard work of organizing a community of people to serve the city of San Francisco.

I don't believe that vocational ministry is something you choose. It often chooses you. This has been one of those instances. I am humbled, thrilled, and scared to death of beginning this work but know that it is the grand experiment that I am supposed to be a part of at this time.

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