Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Life is Pandemonium

Ok, so life isn't really Pandemonium (though it is a bit crazy), but it sounded like a good title, and I currently have that song stuck in my head, so I went with it. Can anyone name that musical??

Anthony did a pretty good job filling you in on how this whole job thing came about. It was a tough decision to make. We didn't want to accept the job just because it was the first one offered. We weren't sure about leaving our denomination. But God did nothing but open doors. Every concern or question we had the church answered. In the end, it seemed clear to both of us that we needed to take this step. Anthony is super excited about the job. He gets to be a worship director full time. Which means that he'll have the time to do so many things he's always wanted to do with a worship team and a worship ministry. He'll be able to kind of build the ministry from the ground up, so it will definitely be a learning experience.

I am also excited about the move, though I'm not sure yet what's in store for me. I plan to also get involved in the church, but I will probably also seek employment. I'm going to give it some time to get settled and see what's out there. If nothing else, I can always continue substitute teaching, which I have enjoyed here. It's really exciting thinking about being in ministry full time and meeting new people and experiencing a new town. I only get sad when I think about saying goodbye, which I refuse to think about yet.

We have tons to do in the month we have left. And, actually, we've already accomplished some big things. We bought a 2nd car a couple of weeks ago. Something a little more reliable than our Sol Fuego (Sunfire), and something that we will be able to drive home. We also, after much research and a lot of phone calls, found a place to live! We'll be renting a 2 bedroom/2 bath condo right near the church. The two things I'm most excited about in the condo? A dishwasher and a fireplace! We're very relieved to have a place to live. It was frustrating trying to find places and make phone calls and look at pictures when you're 600 miles away. But we had lots of help from people out there, and it seems as if we've found something great.

In the meantime, we still need to figure out a moving date (sometime around February 20th), PACK!, and see a ton of people. The next month is going to fly by, that's for sure.

Well, I'm at school right now and I have students coming in a couple minutes. I have to give out a quiz, but then they get to watch a movie. I'll be watching the first half of Dante's Peak 3 times today (they're 7th graders learning about volcanos).

We'll be sure to keep this updated more often. Sorry about the long break, but I think both of us wanted to wait until the job offer was finalized before saying anything.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

About Finding a Job

When Emily and I got married, we had well-laid plans. Emily was working full-time as an administrative assistant at Bethel College’s Career Services Department. Her income was enough for the both of us. So, we thought, I would get credentialed in the Missionary Church and—eventually, when the time felt right, after we attended some 10 weddings in the summer of 2009—I would start looking for a full-time pastoring job. Preferably in a teaching/discipleship role, possible music, but certainly not youth or senior.

When Emily was laid off from Bethel in May (we found out in May) our “well-laid plans” were dashed. Or broken. Or some other dramatic-sounding, not-good word. So, I immediately applied for credentialing in the Missionary Church (which happened) and immediately started looking for pastoring jobs. In the meanwhile I worked as a student worker for Bethel’s housekeeping (a humbling experience after having just received my Bachelors in Bible, Ministry, and Philosophy) and Emily eventually found a job working retail at Family Christian Store (a horrendous experience that will be explained later).

We looked diligently for jobs, talking to all sorts of district superintendents and denominational leaders. The simple fact of the matter was that no church was hiring associate staff. If anything, they were being dropped. I did casually interview for a worship leader position (North Carolina) and formally interview for a senior pastor position (Elkhart), but North Carolina didn’t work out and Elkhart was taking its time. Both Emily and I changed jobs to substitute teaching.

Finally, in October I sadly decided I had to start looking outside of my denomination if I wanted any hope of finding a job. I sent out a shotgun spray of resumes via to any and all positions that looked promising. It was a moderately desperate attempt, but a prayer-filled one nonetheless.

On Monday October 26, 2009, we were still waiting for an answer from Elkhart. That day we decided to pray and fast, looking for direction if nothing else. The next day, we discovered that Elkhart had chosen a pastor, and it wasn’t me. So that was answered. The very same day, I received a call from Good News Community Church, one of the churches I had (seemingly) randomly sent my resume to, asking for a phone interview for their worship leader position. I eagerly accepted.

I had the phone interview November 3 and felt great afterwards, though a bit nervous about the change in denominations. I met with a few people I respect and Emily and I prayed about it, so when Good News called back and offered a weekend trip and formal interview, we accepted that as well.

The weekend of December 10, Emily and I traveled 10 hours to Okoboji, IA, home of Good News Community Church. We enjoyed a weekend of interviewing and auditioning and tons of questions by us and them. After the weekend, we were informed that they still had one interview to do and we would receive a definite yes or definite no by January 15.

Well, that didn’t happen at all! On Christmas Eve, the pastor called and offered us the job. Apparently there had been three candidates, one interviewed before me and one to be interviewed after me. However, they both dropped out, which Good News took as a pretty clear confirmation that I was their guy. Emily and I prayed about it some more and January 4 we accepted the job.