In the past couple of years I have been on a journey into failure according to the world’s standards. Oh, who am I kidding? This has gone on since my youth, although I have often struggled to succeed by their metrics of achievement. It is a strange, counterintuitive journey. Setting aside career aspirations in favor of relational opportunities. I wanted so badly to be a full-time children’s pastor. A successful one. You know, by the standards typically whispered about in church staff meetings, search committee deliberations, and children’s ministry conferences, and related print and web publications.
God delivered me from that path.
Strange that I would say that, right? Delivered me from an honorable profession which impacts children and their families for his kingdom?
I loved being a children’s pastor. I love listening to parents and praying for them, visiting children and families in the hospital, going to ball games, putting bandages on owies, leading kids church and teaching sunday school classes, training people of all ages to minister among kids, impacting the neighborhood through the ministry to children, loving people….
But something happened on the journey. A brokenness. A shattered part of me that cried out for those who will NEVER step foot inside the doors of a church facility; never hear the gospel because
the church has I have not been willing to go to them on their terms, in their context with love and in friendship. I can complain about the local church, but that would be unfruitful. The reality is this disobedience and unwillingness to befriend people I don’t understand or normally relate to has been my fault alone. A shattering realization. Resulting in painful tears over years of lost opportunities.
But not without hope for those days which remain ahead of me.
If this means choosing failure by the standards of the world, then so be it. Search committees, professional colleagues, and ministry pundits are not the judges of my soul. Only God can do that.
The success of failure will be when he says, “Well done.”