Those 3 letters mark the beginning of a new experiment for our family and church. Today I start a seasonal job as a "driver helper." I told Jagen and Rylan I'm basically Santa's helper! Our attitude about this experiment? Gratitude. We're so thankful that God has given me the opportunity to do 3 things over the next 5 weeks:
1) Put something fresh and new on my resume in case I need to work another job part-time or full-time in the future.
2) Be proactive in our personal and church finances. I feel like so many lessons I've learned are a result of the pain and struggle of the planters that have gone before me. I've seen so many planters struggle financially and have to react to unexpected or unplanned budget shortfalls. My first week in Washington I helped a planter pack up and go back "home." I've seen planters search hard for jobs but find themselves unqualified for anything other than pastoral ministry. I've seen planters lose income, lose their homes and lose the church God called them to plant and pastor because of financial hardships. I'm thankful for the opportunity to be proactive in our approach to church & personal finances.
3) I'm thankful to be able to relate to the people I pastor in a new and fresh way. For the most part the people in our church work hard... really hard. They don't work typical 9-5 jobs. They balance two jobs. They make minimum wage. I can speak to them about the struggle, perseverance, hard work, doing everything for the Lord. But at the end of the day, being a pastor is not like what they do. It's harder in some ways. It's easier in some ways. But it's completely different. I'm thankful to have gone out and applied for a job, interviewed for that job, and I get to work that job. I get to balance 2 jobs, family, my own personal walk with Jesus, my own personal mission field.
At the end of the day, we're grateful for all the ways that God cares for our family. I'm thankful to be able to work physically and emotionally.
We're calling it an experiment for a reason. We don't really know what to expect. Please pray for us as I work long days and Kelli bears and even heavier load than normal with our home and kids. Pray that God uses this opportunity for his glory and ultimately to grow his kingdom over the long haul.
I'll keep you posted!