At a crossroads…

Thanks to all you random people out in cyberspace who take time out of your busy days to visit my blog, even when I don’t post any new content for a long time. I’m sorry for the lack of activity here these days. It hasn’t been intentional, we’ve just found ourselves at a crossroads in our lives and much of our attention has been given to making some important decisions.

Let you bring everyone up to speed.

As many of you know, we moved to Rochester three years ago with the desire to do ministry – possibly even church planting – with the C&MA. There’s no need to rehash every single detail of what has taken place over the past few years. But suffice it to say, so far no opportunity has presented itself to do the ministry we felt God had called us here to do.

Over the past month or so we have been talking to a couple in another district about what looks like a promising opportunity for us. I’ve had multiple conversations over the phone with the pastor of the church, and Sunday Cheryl and I spent two hours on a conference call with he and his wife. Yesterday the four of us spent the day in prayer and fasting as we prayerfully considered what the next steps in this relationship should be.

Now we’re at a point where we’re asking our community of friends and family to join us in prayer.

I have so much love and passion for the City of Rochester. I see it as a place with so much untapped potential for ministry and the building up of God’s kingdom. I want with every fiber of my being to remain here and do the ministry that I feel God has called me to do, and to be the pastor and person that I feel God has called me to be. As much as missionaries feel a burden and a love for the culture and people they’ve been called to, I have always considered Rochester my mission field. That’s why the thought of leaving, having never truly had the chance to begin the work I had envisioned, tears my heart to pieces.

By the same token, I know that the gifts and abilities that God has entrusted to me can be used wherever he places me. I also understand that, when it really comes down to it, ministry is ultimately about people; and Jesus is desperate to reach people everywhere. The calling to serve the Lord must supersede any subsidiary calling to location or culture.

It has been no secret that the juggling act between working full-time and our desire to do ministry has been an extremely difficult challenge for us to overcome. In the beginning we took a severe financial hit in order to focus more on ministry, and these later days have found us enjoying the (minimal) breathing room that comes with greater financial gain, but much to the expense of ministry. That is why the thought of turning down an opportunity to do ministry on a full-time basis and truly beginning my pastoral career, for the sake of remaining in Rochester, completely terrifies me.

So we could use your prayers. We know we already have your support, but we’re asking for you to join us in praying for discernment and wisdom as we decide what is right for our family while we wade through the sometimes murky waters of “calling.” Things could move pretty fast for us in one direction or the other. I am confident in God’s care and provision, and know that whatever decision is made, because we are truly seeking him, we will not be lead away from his will.

12 thoughts on “At a crossroads…

  1. well… I dont know if you remember… way back when, when you guys had just started. I was one of the older kids. Not very old, but older. I have been constantly hoping and praying for you since that first time I met ya’ll, and even more since C-stone the first time. There is no reason to say you didn’t do anything here. You WERE and that was enough for many of us. Just because you feel like you haven’t lived up to your potential… remember the ripples in the pond. Hardly noticable at first, but moving outward, ever larger. Shane, Cheryl, I love you both very much. This is in God’s hands.

  2. I’m praying for you shane…
    My heart really goes out to ANYONE who desires to start a church. over the past few years at locustfist and here, i’ve come to consider you a friend “at large” through the medium of cyberspace. so, my heart definitely goes out to you and the gut wrenching you’re experiencing.

    you seem so passionate about Rochester that i find it hard to believe that God never wants you to minister there in the future. what if the current opportunity is actually a time to totally “soak up” full time ministry and grow in pastoral gifting? in a few years, who knows? maybe you’ll be back in Rochester with a fresh perspective, keener insight and a stronger, specific vision for a new church plant?

    then again, i’m wrong about 70% of the time.

    stem

  3. “Friend at large.” I love it! Reminds me of all the times Matt (EmmausPreach) and I have referred to ourselves as “freelance pastors.” LOL.

    Thanks for the perspective and kind words Stem. I’ll be sure to keep everyone informed as we go.

  4. Not very qualified to give advice, but I’ll certainly be praying for you guys, and if you need to bounce ideas off someone, I’m right next door. For what it’s worth, though, in my life I’ve found that my PRIMARY occupational calling has remained the same, straight through, and all of the secondary callings have come in around it as possible. Some people are primarily called to a job, some to a community, some to a church, some to a group of friends, some to an ethnic group, some to a task. You need to know what your PRIMARY occupational calling is. Is it Rochester? Is it church planting? Is it X?

    By occupational calling, I mean not “Jesus” (our primary primary calling 🙂 or “Cheryl and Josiah” (your familial calling).

    My primary occupational calling is to study, preach, and teach the Word of God, helping people to apply the Scriptures to every aspect of life. Looking back, that’s what I’ve always done – as a church member, InterVarsity student/leader, IV Staffer, Royal Ranger, wherever. Other callings (job, residence, church, etc.) have fallen in around that calling.

  5. Good advisement Denes. I think my primary calling is pizza. Or possibly Miami Dolphins football. Those two remain a constant. 🙂

    I’ve always been an “entrepreneurial” type when it comes to my faith. Starting up new ministries and bringing creativity to an environment is where I thrive. That’s why many of my mentors have steered me toward church planting over the years. Couple that with a passion for preaching and bringing people closer to the heart of Jesus and that about sums things up.

    Thanks for helping us to sort through all of this…

  6. I was a royal ranger!
    we won all kinds of awards…of course, as a west virginian, i already posessed all of the necessary outdoor skills to thrive in a “campfire” environment.

    but i digress from the soberness of the current topic.
    shane, have you considered the royal rangers as a ministery outlet?

    stem

  7. Until now I never had heard of such a thing. I had heard of Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers, but never the Royal Rangers. My Spidey-senses told me it was probably a Christian version of the Boy Scouts, so I Googled it…. BINGO! 😆

  8. Shane,
    I know you want to stay in Rochester and be a pastor there but I believe from all that has happened to you guys in the last 3 years that God is equipping you to someday make a difference in Rochester, but now needs you to spread the word somewhere else where he believes he needs you more.
    I know its hard giving up a secure job and test the waters but sometimes it makes us even stronger and more steadfast in our mission for God.
    Whatever you decide we are with you and wish you the best of luck. We will pray for you and know God will show you the way he wants you to go forward and do his work whether it be in Rochester or elsewhere.

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