Geric took a job at a small Reform Church in Norco almost two years ago. We were so excited when he got this job. As long as I have known him, he has felt like God has called him into ministry with youth and after a lot of prayer, we took a leap of faith and joined Church on the Hill.
Our journey for the last two years has been a pretty bumpy road. The students that he ministers to are very rebellious and disrepectful. At first Geric thought it was just him, but after several meetings with parents, guest worship leaders, and other youth pastors, he has come to realize that this is just a really hard group of kids. He has been discouraged quite a few times after spending a lot of time planning a talk or a youth event only to be told that it sucked and they got nothing out of it and that the only reason they come to youth group is to hang out with each other, and they wished he wasn’t there. Ouch… big time. We both know that these kids need Jesus, and Geric feels extremely loyal to them, which is why we haven’t pulled anchor and set sail in the last two years.
The transistion has also been a really tough one for me. I was raised at CBC and left when Flipside broke away to become their own church, so I have always felt like my church friends were also my family. So, going to a new church where I don’t know anyone was really hard for me. Also, we were the only family in the church that was at our life stage when we started going there. I felt so alone. Everyone was either a lot older or a lot younger. Since then, I have made friends with a few other mommies that hang out in the nursery, so things have definitely gotten better. The other transistion was that this church is sooooo different from what I was used to. When we first started going there, worship was only a piano and mostly hymns. The pastor’s sermon was 15 minutes max, and usually lacked a certain passion for the gospel. There was one women’s small group and one men’s small group, both of which were on youth group nights. Things have gotten better though. There is now a full fledged band that really leads worship, not just sings songs!
Well, about a month ago the pastor told Geric that the church is having a pretty hard time with the finances and basically, they could only afford to give him a paycheck until the end of August. When Geric first told me this, it really hit me like a ton of bricks. He’s our sole provider! The economy is not lookin’ so good. Is he going to be able to find another job that quickly? What are we going to do? (Honestly, it still freaks me out a little bit thinking about it.) Now the pastor is saying that they’ll probably be able to pay him until the end of the year. It just feels so shaky.
So, now we’re at this crossroad. Geric has been going to Calvary Chapel’s School of Ministry for the last year and really believes in their philosophy of ministry. He would love to do ministry with them, but they usually only hire people that attend their church. So, maybe he should get a regular ol’ job and we could start attending a Calvary and of a door opens to do ministry, so be it. But, I think the thought of giving up ministry as a full time job really saddens Geric. As hard as the kids are to work with, he loves it. So, maybe we should just ride it out at Church on the Hill and pray that finances get better. The other option is to find another ministry job. My old youth pastor mentors Geric and has told him of a couple of opportunities in Orange County. He’s also looking into those.
It’s just confusing because it feels like there are so many options, but at the same time I feel like we’re stuck. It’s a very strange feeling. It’s scary, but also exciting. I know the Jesus hold us in the palm of His hand and I know that He’ll always provide for us. I know that as a family it is our greatest ambition to serve Him and to do His will for us. I don’t want to be held back by worldly things (fears, money, location, etc.). I want to be able to tell my kids that we pressed hard into God and sought to please Him alone, and look at how we have been blessed!
Anyway, (long boring post, I know) but I just wanted to ask for prayer. We really want to do what God has planned for us and not become shortsighted by our own desires or fears. So, if you pray, put us on your list. If you don’t, you really should! 🙂