Starting a New Call: A Top 10 List of Dos and Don’ts

Pace yourself. You are going to be tempted to go, go, go. Don’t give in to the temptation. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. 

Dear Askie: I’m Changing Calls!

Dear Askie, I have just accepted a new call! It’s very exciting but also very sad. You see, I’m leaving my current call after almost eight years. I love the people, and we have done some amazing things together. I want to leave well—for me and for them—but I am not really sure how to […]

A Pastor in the Real World

For years I have joked about what I would do with my life if this ministry thing didn’t work out. As with all jokes, there has always been a part to it that is tragic and true. In February of this year, I swore off congregational ministry. As a pastor, I experienced a type of […]

Winter Whether

For the last few years, I have been in an extended period of discernment. For many months, I found myself constantly asking whether I should take on something new, stop doing something else, or change direction entirely. I felt unsettled, no longer at home in certain aspects of my life and work. The winds of […]

Collars, Leashes, and Lead Ropes

One of the very first things my spouse said to me on the day that we met was, “Your sense of call is going to make your life tough.” It has. It continues to do so. In February of 2018 I took my collar off. I resigned from my call without a new call in […]

A Curse Word and A Cocktail

I swiped left after left. Conflicting political understandings. Anti-religion. Doesn’t like cats. I definitely swiped left more than right. The swipe right list is not long, but it has weight. A message popped up from a mutual match. He quoted Bret Easton Ellis when he found out I was from Los Angeles, which made me […]

Untethered but Anchored

A year and a half ago, I left my full-time congregational ministry setting to take an intentional year off from full-time congregational ministry. I had been ordained a decade, serving congregations for a decade and a half, all of it as a program pastor in multi-staff churches. The congregation and I were no longer a […]

The Words

The Words Fall 2017   That they do not come is a trouble to me, And that trouble—at times stacked carelessly among other troubles— accuses me, like other aspects of a self-doubting mind, Of negligence to my vocation, of insufficient time spent on any given task.   And yet, I might not hear the Call, […]

An Open Letter to the “Minister” in my Facebook Feed

Dear Facebook acquaintance, Since we haven’t actually talked or seen each other since middle school, let me just start by saying I’m aware that you’re hearing from me out of the blue. We connected several years ago through the magic of Facebook, where I learned that you’ve become a lawyer, enjoy the party scene, are […]

A Love Letter to My Swamp Monsters

When you are ordained, you agree to love your congregation in the name of Jesus Christ. When you like them and when you don’t, you love them because, well, that’s just the deal you’ve made with God. In seminary they told us this would be both infuriating and holy work. What I didn’t learn in […]