This post could gain some criticism because of the level of honesty and confession here. James 5 reminds us that confession our faults to one another brings healing. Some may choose to take the critical road, but I pray that most (if not all) would see the propensity of all of us to do what I am about to share.
This blog began in 2015. I was still recovering from the aftermath of my separation and divorce. In retrospect, I see how cynical and bitter I was as I wrote. This blog was an outlet. Many read this and connected with my sentiments. Others did not understand or misconstrued what was written here. If I could go back and change things, there are a lot of posts that would have never been published. Despite my own struggles, God used several of my posts to help some people who shared similar struggles. Many read the real struggles of a man who happened to be in ministry and understood we have similar struggles as “normal people” (whatever normal means).
Many of my posts stemmed from my feelings about pastors and church members who bullied me, those in the church who feel my divorce disqualified me from doing anything for the Lord, and any other struggles that accompanied being a pastor and a church planter. Some of my struggles were a result of pride, poor choices, etc. Others were conflicts that, at their core, were similar to what many others face. Many of you who read these posts graciously stood with me on my path to healing. For that, I am grateful.
This last year has been a year of realization. In a previous season, I was very passionate about ministering strictly in one local church on staff. I stepped into church planting (something I liked the thought of but did not possess the gifts necessary to do it well). I am thankful for the people who stood with me during that season. It was difficult to admit to my inadequacy, but it was a step in discovering where my heart truly is during this season of my life – ministering to pastors (lead, student, executive, worship, children’s, etc.) and ministry leaders of various sorts. I know some of the struggles, and I realize that pastoral health aids in church health. Church health leads to biblical church growth.
This next ministry assignment is very different from what I have done. So many pastors have no safe place to turn. They don’t have the resources they often need to be the best they can be. I have prayed for an opportunity to invest my life in other pastors. God showed me it is possible through the ministry of Standing Stone (my new ministry calling).
Had I had a Standing Stone Shepherd, I may have handled some of my ministry situations much better. I now resolve to be what I needed during these very challenging seasons of my life. I know this cannot happen apart from the work of God’s Spirit. I know He is able.
I don’t know what shape this blog will take as I enter a new season of ministry, but I strive to continue to be honest, authentic, and transparent as I write. I do know, moving forward, that I long to write from the place of a healed man full of the Holy Spirit rather than a hurt man who used his blog to vomit bitterness and cynicism. I know I will never know all who were offended by my approach, but I pray that God will allow me to rebuild bridges than rejoice in the ones burned. Not every bridge will be repaired, but I long to know that I have done everything possible to live peaceably with all people as Scripture calls us to do.
Thank you to all those who loved me through the ups and downs! You have refreshed my spirit. To those I offended, I seek your forgiveness. Hurt distorts perspective. This does not justify a wrong approach, but it shows us our sinful nature once again. May the future of this blog minister life, encouragement, and truth to all who read. God bless you!