More on (leaving) Ministry

After reading Saturday’s entry, I realized more I should articulate on why I’m leaving ministry.

I’m just no good at it.

Now, that’s not really true. I’m great at it. Just not when I have to do it full-time and get paid for it. Something about the full-time paid position aspect changes the nature of the beast. I was a great volunteer. I love spending time with the kids, building relationships, leading small groups, and teaching. And I can do the administrative stuff (fairly well, even, though I don’t necessarily enjoy it). It’s all the other stuff. The parents and the church politics and staff meetings and committee meetings and the incredible responsibility of it all that makes me a significantly less fun person (which then cuts into the relationship-building aspect, because, let’s face it, no teenager likes an adult who’s no fun).

So if I formally leave, and pursue this teaching thing, I can see how someday I could work in a high school (or potentially a junior high) and spend my days teaching (which I really enjoy the most out of all the ministry stuff), and volunteer at a church that I have chosen (and chosen not because they had an available job, but because I really do like the church and agree with it on a theological basis and enjoy the people and they have programs there I could be a part of and people my own age to be friends with). I can see that being much more fulfilling than being full-time in ministry.

And I think that’s a fairly educated decision. I’ve done the volunteer thing (5+ years, junior and senior high and both). I’ve done the full-time thing (2-ish years). I’ve done the part-time thing (2+ years). Granted, I haven’t done the teaching thing. That’s why I plan on exploring that before, say, spending thousands of dollars on a graduate degree.

I should really get on the phone. And fill out that application.