Life Among the Unemployed – Making Hard Decisions

(These posts will appear when there is something to report)

Unemployment is not a straight line experience.  It changes as you go along, and that means decisions have to be made. Often hard ones.


It’s time to acknowledge a decision I’ve made with my family.

For the moment, I am not pursuing youth ministry positions around the country.  If something were to pop up here in the Richmond region, I would certainly consider it.  But we’ve decided that we don’t want to pack up and move again.  Our goal was to move down here and make this our home long term.  The very thought of starting again is like a great stone in our bellies.  For better or worse, we will make our stand here.

It’s not a decision I come to easily.  I still love working with young people.  Those chances to discuss faith and life with young people are deeply missed.  For whatever reason God has put a great love for young people in my heart.  Through those young people, my own faith has been deepened and strengthened in ways I can not even begin to describe to you.

The other side of the coin is complicated.  I have reservations (is that a nice enough word?) about my departure from each of my professional ministry positions.  I’m not going to go into those here and now.  I accept that I bear some responsibility in both cases.  That still leaves me with issues about how the end came to be.  A different topic for a different day.

Here’s what really weighs on me at this point.  Having to break away from the young people in both of those ministries broke my heart.  It happened twice in a span of fewer than three years.  There can be no doubt that making a clean break is important for them.  It doesn’t make it easy or painless.  I’m a hurting puppy and that alters my ability to step back into another ministry.  To try and pretend otherwise is to be dishonest with myself, with any congregation or diocese, and with the young people.  For the moment, I need to heal.  There may be opportunities for me to support others in youth ministry.  I look forward to that possibility.  At the moment, we have just joined a new congregation.  The standards that I helped to create require a one year “waiting period” before becoming involved with youth ministry.  That strikes me as a very good policy and a personal discipline that I need to follow.

So it’s career change time again.  My resume describes an interesting and fairly unique career path.  It is one that has played strongly to my communication skills, my ability to relate to others, to work both as a team member and a leader, and displays a flexibility to adapt.  I’m hoping that there is a company or organization that is looking for just that kind of person to help them achieve their goals.  Anyone interested can check me out at my LinkedIn profile page.

This has not been an easy decision.  A part of me cries out at the idea of stepping away.  Yet there is no doubt in mind my it is the decision I need to make right now.  Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

So I will keep my head up, my eyes open, my heart strong.

Waiting to see the next chapter in my life.

Whatever it turns out to be.

And I’ll keep you up to date on how that goes.



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