A few months back I began the candidacy process in the UMC to pursue ordination as an elder. Since that time that decision as been reaffirmed through conversation, prayer and a multitude of experiences in discernment.
Through it all, I knew I was in this process for the long haul, knowing that the UMC takes a fairly deliberate course in determining who's right and then equipping those folks for ministry.
Here's one thing I know: I'm called to new church start ministries in the UMC. I'm called to reach out to the millenial generation, a generation that's largely been mishandled by the church - a generation that I'm a member of.
In discerning that call as a family, I've reached out and made it know that that's what I feel called to do with my life in ministry. And through that reaching out, a new opportunity in ministry has come.
Beginning April 1st, I will begin serving as Associate Pastor of Young Adults and Communications at First United Methodist Church of Arlington, TX. I'll be working with the pastoral staff and laity to reach out to the local community to pull in the young families and college students that are on the fringes. I've also been blessed with the responsibility to preach and lead their contemporary worship service, a responsibility that will be phased in over the first few months in Arlington and that will step up after I attend licensing school this summer.
Oh yeah, and I hope to start seminary again this fall as I begin studies towards an MDiv. It's all happening at once!
It's an awful big change for my family. As I broke the news to my chancel choir family on Wednesday night it hit me that I've had Wednesday night choir practice for the last 12 years or so, the last 8 years as a director. It's sinking in that the music ministry portion of my worship ministry is going on the back-burner for a little while as I continue to feel out God's will for my life.
I've had such a blessed time as a worship leader, for the last two years at FUMC Duncanville on the edge of Dallas. This faith family and I have been through a whole lot together and we have blessed one another. It's bittersweet, no doubt - there's still work to be done with my faith family in Duncanville. I thank God for the many lessons I've learned here, lessons I will be carrying on as my family and I move on in God's ministry.
But I'm excited ... I'll finally have the time to get out in the local community and see what I'm made of in that context. It's a new season for my family, and we're stepping out in faith together for a new adventure with the Lord. We'll be needing your prayers!