Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I didn't get the job, but instead found a calling.

About 7years ago I interviewed for a job at Birmingham First United Methodist Church in Birmingham, MI. I was then working at the Oklahoma United Methodist Boys Ranch as a counselor and resources officer. I enjoyed my job, but was anxious to find a job in ministry. There weren't too many full time openings in the tradition I was then currently part of, so I thought I tried my chances with a "sister denomination." I sent my resume, made my follow up phone calls and was eventually invited to a face-to-face interview with the leadership of Birmingham First. I was intimidated by the size of the church, committees and community and it was not my best interview. I few hours after the interview, the pastor, now one of my closest friends and mentor, Jack Harnish called to say, "Josh, you didn't get the job, but have you considered pastoral ministry?" I had, in fact that was what I really wanted to do, but as I mentioned, there were not many opportunities in the tradition I was currently part of. Jack went on to, "give me a swift kick in the pants" an encouraged me to pursue ordination and pastoral ministry in the United Methodist Church. I had consider this before, but I was intimidated by the sheer amount of work, education and discipline it took to become a United Methodist Elder, but for whatever reason, Jacks "kick to the butt" was enough that day and I decided I was going to do what it took to become a UMC Elder! 

The following fall I enrolled at Saint Paul School of Theology and began a journey that I am close to completing (only about two more years to go!). In the spring of 2011, thanks again to another one of Jacks "kicks to the rear" (this time it was someone else's rear he was kicking), I transferred to the Detroit Annual Conference. I completed my seminary education at United Theological Seminary (a great choice and a different story, but strongly related) and this spring I will, hopefully (baring any epic breakdowns on my part) be received as a probationary Elder in the United Methodist Church.

So, I didn't get the job I wanted, but I did get a vocation I am extremely proud of and happy with. I guess this goes to show that from time to time, we all need a butt kicking :) to get us going in the right direction and from time to time we don't get the job, but instead find a life calling. I'm looking forward to a life time of service as an Ordained person in the United Methodist Church and it all stared with a faithful, spiritually sensitive and life oriented church father who wasn't afraid to kick a little butt. Thanks Jack, you have my permission to land another swift kick anytime you think I need one! ;)

Me, my wife Amanda, Jim and Bev Miller and Rev. Jack and Judy Harnish at Onaway United Methodist Church

No comments:

Post a Comment