Carolina State of Mind

Many of you know that I am in seminary.  Many of you also know that I have sent my resumé to every corner of the United States, looking for a youth pastor position.  This process has been best described as crazy go nuts, and I am going to report to you another unbelievable part of this process.

I recently interviewed for a church that is not only out of state, but not even in the same time zone.  I interviewed at a church in western North Carolina.  This church had everything that I was looking for in a church.  The salary was right in line for what I was looking for, had benefits, an allowance for health insurance, a healthy youth budget, and most importantly, they wanted me.  In fact, I was told that I was their unanimous choice, and they put on a full court press sales pitch.  And that is why it was incredibly hard to pass.

That’s right, the position that I have sought for such a long time, I have turned down.  I really can’t explain why turned it down this opportunity, outside of the fact that I felt an overwhelming sense that God was leading me away from this particular position.  In essence, I did not feel a peace about this, and that is why I walked away.

My feelings are conflicted.  In one sense, I feel a peace about the decision.  I think that it was definitely the right decision to make, and don’t regret it a bit.  My wife and I spent a substantial amount of time praying, thinking, talking, and stressing over this choice, and not once were we in disagreement about our course of action.  On the other hand, it is frustrating, because in essence it offered a culmination in a long, crazy road, and did so in way that I fit into my expectations for this position.  In the end, a culmination that God is not in is not a culmination at all, and it will end poorly.

Thanks for your continued prayers for peace and discernment as I continue to try to listen to what God is telling me, and go where He is leading.


About larsenphillip

I'm an imperfect disciple of Jesus Christ. I am learning that my walk with Jesus gets deeper when I drop the presumptions that I have and simply follow him. I get frustrated when people put God in a box, and presume to know how He will reach individuals, work in peoples lives, and advance His kingdom. If Tony Campolo or Jim Wallis were to call me and ask me to work for them for free...I probably would. I think one day I'll write a book, and I am a nut for STL Cardinal baseball.
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One Response to Carolina State of Mind

  1. samdutro says:

    Phill, great post. I love the thought process ending with a gut check. Its so easy to reason your way into a bad decision. I’ve been going through the same decision making process but have chosen the other road for the same reason. Staying at my current organization would be so easy and very comfortable. I’ve opted for a new opportunity (which yes, does offer me a lot) that just feels right. I’ve been in your same position where I had to turn down (what looked on paper to be) the right decision because it just didn’t feel right. You’re illustrating the principle that the hardest decisions in life aren’t between good and bad, but better and best.

    Another thought though, I think we place a lot of importance in our society on “the right decision.” Really, I think its just as important, and sometimes moreso, to be better at living with your decisions than making the right ones. The average pre-marital courtship lasts about two years based on research I’ve read, yet half of all marriages are ending in divorce. That tells me that staying the course once you’ve committed to a decision is paramout to success. There’s certainly something to be said for cutting losses when appropriate, but i think we do that a bit prematurely most times. Thoughts?

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