Job Hunt: God’s calling vs Employment

Looking back over the past decade I have completed a few long legs of my journey.  I have worked in several fields that have helped me to get to the place where I am now.  I have gotten my MSW (master of social work) from Adelphi University, my M.Div. (Master of Divinity) from Denver Seminary as well as an undergraduate degree in social work from Gordon College.

I see myself as a youth minster who is skilled and called for pastoral counseling, mentoring, crisis intervention.  A narrow window to some, but it has broad implications.  I would feel comfortable in many different arenas.  Large and small churches, urban to rural contexts.  I could go to a parish based context or a para-church context like a youth organization or a Christian college/university.  It’s really where God wants to place me.

Over the course of my life, I have felt that God has shown me two steps out where he wants me to go.  I have followed and it is obvious how God’s provision has provided, and now that God has given me an open book (so it seems), I continue to have faith in what God will do in my future.

During this time in my wilderness, looking for God to lead me out, at a time of His choosing, I know what’s coming ahead is greater than what’s behind.   It is just going to take me time to figure those things out.  I’ve had several thoughts on what I can and can’t control, which may apply to my friends entering the ministerial workforce also.  Here are some:

What I can control:

  • How I present myself to new employers.
  • My online presence and how I use my time.
  • My continued education, be aware and looking for the answers to questions potential employers will have for me.
  • Being vigilant to not take infinite sabbath days and not enough time studying and growing deeper in my relationship with Christ.
  • Developing routines that will help me adapt to my ministry when I get there.
  • Developing general ideas, philosophy and vision for ministry, which will need to be tailored later, but even fancy suit stores make those ahead of time, tailoring them after you buy them.
  • Ministry here: being involved in the church and ministry that I’m around now.
  • Keeping my resume, website, cover letters, etc sharp and ready for the next potential job opening
  • Visiting job search websites.
  • Discerning and praying over potential job applications before I make those.
  • My attitude in embracing the next challenge that is God’s call and not just the next opportunity to grab out of desperation.

What I can’t control:

  • When the right job will open up for me.
  • The length of time it will take for me to get into the “right” position.
  • Whether people see my two masters as two career attempts or one trek on a longer journey to God’s calling.
  • Where I will end up.  I have dreams and desires, but have placed this in God’s hands also.  I may be in the church or para-church, anywhere between rural and urban ministry.  I’m just excited that God made me and my passions diverse enough to fit any of those opportunities.

It would be very easy for me to take the reigns now that I don’t feel the same two-step ahead call that God has given me in the past and thank God for what he had done there and just take over.  God’s giving me an opportunity to test my faith and listen to him in real time as my wife and I discern where God would have us go next.

2 Responses to Job Hunt: God’s calling vs Employment

  1. Jeremy says:

    Great article, thanks for the this little reminder.

    Definitely praying for you as you search for work. This time can be both humbling and pain as God stretches you and works in you, but a time of great joy as you come closer to God and His will.

  2. Matt Murphy says:

    Thanks for the prayers. I appreciate it. My prayer is that I keep God the focus of my job search and look to him and the calling he's given me loud and clear and I don't accept anything less than what he's given me.

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