Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thoughts from an ex-youth minister

I've been in ministry long enough to have seen my fair share of ministers leave the vocational ministry. I've heard some really bad horror stories of what congregational leaders have done to "force" ministers from their jobs. I've seen some ministers not only leave the vocation of ministry, but the church as well. This is not one of those cases.

I have known Ben (via the internet only - unfortunately I have never gotten to meet him in person, yet) for a few years. Though I do not know him enough to do well on a "how well do you know Ben?" trivia contest, I have been able to know him through his blog posts. And the post he wrote recently about his exit from vocational ministry is honest, open, and heartfelt. Ben did not leave because of some negative leadership or moral issue - he left because he no longer feels God has called him into full-time ministry.

Ben's post is entitled "Contemplations of an ex-minister" Here are two excerpts:

All things considered, I left ministry five years ago. Up until a few weeks ago I was still employed by a church full of lovely people but my heart was not in it. My heart was in front-end web design and I knew it … and I subsequently ignored my heart. Why? Why would someone ignore what they loved and grind out several years doing something they genuinely disliked?
That is a great question. How many youth ministers are just going through the motions or refusing to take a "step of faith" because they fear not having a steady income?

When I say, “I used to be a minister” I mean that I used to be paid a full time salary to be a minister. Ministry proper, of course, is something we all do all the time.

So true!

If you haven't already, take the time to read the entire post and leave Ben a comment. And if you need some web design work done - you might consider having Ben help you out.

As for me, I am glad Ben is following his heart (calling from God?) and pursuing what he is passionate about. I look forward to hearing where this leads and to seeing his work all over the internet. Maybe, I'll also get to meet him in person one day, just maybe.

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