I have a lot of Moses moments. I don’t mean like the “holy crap parting waves, leading thousands, guy on a mountain,” – Moses moments. I mean the “Me? Are you sure?” “God you must be mistaken.” – kind of Moses moments. Ministry can do that kind of thing to you. You compare your efforts to others and you think “surely they would do a better job in the same situation.” You have it in your mind that paid ministry should reflect certain results. You try and visualize what defines success and you wonder if you can meet that mark. But like Moses, his success was not in his hands. His Exodus, was entirely dependent upon other people. Success would be delivering his people from the enslavement of Pharaoh. An outcome entirely not up to him. All Moses could do was go.
In July of 2016 I was living in a slice of heaven. Tacos. Queso. Brisket. Film. Concerts. Half the population was my age. Willie Nelson our official mascot. I’m talking about the sacred city of Austin, TX. A city that catered to all my interests. Truth be told it’s hard for me to envision a more perfect town for me to exist in.
So why did I leave?
Fantastic question. One that in times of struggle and loneliness I’m sure I will ask myself.
However the answer is actually quite easy: Opportunity.
In August of 2016, I began working outside of our nation’s capital for a ministry towards adolescents. It’s an opportunity to replant a program that has been distant from an area with one of the largest high schools in the state. A school that in terms of ministry, is drastically unreached. It’s an opportunity to learn how to build a ministry from the ground up. Seek out leadership. Cast vision. And like Moses, move obediently.
I’m being led to exactly where I have desired and prayed to go, but like the Israelites – on the way to the Promised Land – there are times where I crave my former home. Where I think “It would have been better to remain in Austin, with all my passions.” There are times where I’m isolated and alone. There are times when I’m frustrated. There are times when I’m uncomfortable and worried. Because to reach any Promised Land….you gotta go through the dessert.
This is the beginning of a series that I’ve been thinking about since I revisited the Exodus story as I arrived to my new job. My hope is that it would be a blessing for anyone moving towards planting their own ministry or being involved in such a process. In this series I plan to document (as honestly as respect, responsibility, and care will allow) the trials and successes of starting up a ministry in a foreign land. And hopefully together we can journey towards a Promised Land, even if I never make it inside.
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& May grace and peace be with us.