I know what you're thinking. Another blog? Just what we need on the internet....
I know. I thought the same thing. But here it is anyway.
I have tried and failed several times to write a blog faithfully. But it will be different this time, right? Well, for one thing, I have a lot more to write about this time. <chuckle> I certainly have had a lot of things happen to me in this past year and a half. There have been lots of changes in my life, once again. I almost feel like I keep reinventing myself, and I don't know who I am any more. Sort of like the guy who has walked the aisle in every evangelistic service he ever went to, so that he says, "I've heard so many life-changing sermons, and had my life changed so many times, I don't even know who I am." That's a bit what I feel like sometimes.
Once again, I find myself at one of those points in my life where I ask myself where I am going and what I am doing. I find myself out of a job in the ministry again, this time because of finances. And that prompts me to ask a lot of questions about the way we do ministry in the 21st Century. It prompts me to ask if I should be in the ministry. And I question myself about my own motives in it all. Am I motivated purely on my finances? Should a pastor be overly concerned about how much he makes? How does this all apply to assistant pastors and how much they make, and whether a church is in a position to afford to pay him and support his family? How will I be perceived by others if I choose to take a full-time secular job rather than work a part-time job on top of my ministry position? These are all difficult questions that I have wrestled with over the past few months. I will answer some of these questions through my blog over the next few weeks. I hope that my answers will be given with a gracious and kind spirit, and that they will be received in the same way.
I also find myself in a profession I never thought I would be a part of. Car Salesmen do not exactly have a good reputation in the world, so why choose such a job? It is something I have never done before, and have zero experience in. I have no client base to draw from. It is a very aggressive and competitive market. Again, there is that perception thing. Why did I choose to do this again? That has been something I have asked myself many times over the past few months.
Then there is that balance in the Christian life-thing. Even though I haven't made a lot of money yet, the potential is definitely there in this industry. I've asked myself: What's wrong with making a lot of money? Is it wrong to work hard to save up and buy things like a house? or a new car? to make sure that my wife has nice, warm and stylish winter boots? or to be able to afford to go on a holiday someplace warm in the winter time? How can I continue to serve the Lord in ministry while I am working a secular job? And where does working a few extra hours to make a sale to provide for the family conflict with my obligations in the ministry, if it does at all? Can I continue to teach the Word of God in my church? Again, there is always that perception-thing.
"Ex-pastor who quit ministry to work as a Car Salesman and make a lot of money wants to continue teaching and preaching the Word in his church."
Oh, and then there is the issue of the purchase of my new car. My old '93 Exploder (Explorer) with 365,000 kms on it (228,125 miles) was still running and getting me from A to B, but had a lot of issues that needed to be addressed, and was going to cost me a lot of money. You know the drill, lots of you have been in that position before. So, what to do? Well, I have a job working for a car dealership. That means I can purchase cars myself at a very good price. So, I set a budget of what I could afford, and waited for the right car to come along. Now, there were two cars that fit the bill. One is a 2009 Focus, the other a 2007 Mustang. Now, I have always wanted to own a Mustang. Two cars, same price. Not much of a choice in my book. But there is that perception thing again.....
"Ex-pastor quits low-paying job in ministry to take high-paying job in car sales and buys a hot-rod."
Well, hopefully you can see where I am going in my blogs. I will be writing about my journeys in life and experiences. I will be writing about the ministry. I will be writing about theology, history and social issues. I will be writing some biographical sketches on historical and current figures. I will give the occasional book review. Basically, I will write about whatever happens to be on my mind. Some of it will be serious, some of it funny.
And I will write about Mustangs.
In case you hadn't guessed, they are my favourite car. :-)