You may have noticed (if you click through RSS) that there is no header anymore on the blog. Technically, that means the blog has no particular title, which given the history of my blogging makes it another phase in my search for a title. For now at least, I’ve decide to run without a title, which is kind of the story of my life for the past couple of years, at least when it comes to my relationship with the local church.
I’m pulling the phrase “running without a title” from a conversation I had with our pastor back in Dec/Jan. He had just greenlighted having a doctrine class on Sunday nights which would basically be the extent of Christian education in our church. I also still had fleeting hopes of being able to secure a staff position since our church was clearly understaffed (and still is) and I had been faithfully serving in many and various capacities since day one (which was early June 2011) and had come straight from finishing seminary training.
Those hopes would quickly be dashed, though if I were going off body language, I should have never had hopes in the first place. The ins and outs of that is probably another post entirely, and maybe one I’ll write one day. The result of the particular conversation in question was that I would be continuing to “run without a title” for a season, meaning I would be doing more than the average lay leader in the church, but with no staff association or particular recognition. The individual activities weren’t necessarily staff caliber, but when you’re teaching the only doctrine class, leading a small group, playing every other week in the worship band, and discipling a half dozen young leaders, you’re pulling at least a part-time staff workload.
I realized in the midst of it all that it was too much for a person to be doing who was looking for full-time work elsewhere (as a result of those aforementioned dashed hopes). Also, it was a disservice to my wife since none of it was helping to provide and was actually interfering with my ability to do other things that would help provide. That led to some much needed changes, but I’m still in a season of life where I’m running without a title, regardless of what exactly I do at church.
If you notice in the sidebar, I call myself a disciple, teacher, musician, and thinker. I’d love to add pastor, and really think it is a fair label since I shepherd and pastor. But at the same time, I’m not recognized as a pastor by my own church so it seems unfair to claim the label (even if I have the degree for it). I am actively looking for full-time pastoral work (and you are welcome to download my resume if you like), but in the meantime, I’m laboring titleless in the ministry. It’s awkward and I don’t like it, but that’s where God has me. There’s a lesson in here somewhere, and if nothing else, it’s great for deconstructing your pride.
And maybe, just maybe, that’s exactly what I need right now.