Thursday, March 17, 2011

Out of the Blue

Over four months ago (before I made up with God, before I preached in January, before I decided to return to being a pastor), I applied for a position as a "Family Support Coordinator" for a company that deals with organ donation. I never heard back from them, so assumed I just wasn't picked for the position. Life went on, and I forgot about it.

About three weeks ago, I received a phone call from someone in this company. They were wondering if I was still interested in the position, and gave me some details. I asked for a few days to think about it, then called them back and told them I was still interested. We scheduled an interview, but Walter got sick the day of the interview, so I had to cancel. I figured that was it, that they would totally write me off. Two days later, they called me back to reschedule. I was blown away by that, and we set up another interview. The interview was a week ago today. It went well, and they told me it would be a few more weeks before I heard anything. I think I'm a fairly strong candidate, so we shall see.

However, I'm really not thinking that I will/should accept the position if it's offered. Sure, it would be an exciting job and I think I'd be good at it. And the pay should be very good (including overtime) and the benefits are great. They'd give me a Blackberry, a laptop, pay for my internet access at home, and reimburse me for travel expenses. But...there are a lot of drawbacks. First, it's an entirely secular position, and it's highly possible that it would in no way qualify as an "extension ministry" position. Second, the hours are very erratic and long. I could easily be working 60-70 hours a week, and be gone from my family for up to 24 hours at a time (helping to facilitate the organ donation process). Third, the first four to six months of the position are "training", and they told me that I'll essentially be working all the time during my training. Fourth, the above schedule means that my involvement at OGUMC would have to be seriously cut back.

Honestly? The money and the thought of not having to submit to the itinerant system are the only reasons I'm even considering it. If I'm going to be spending 60 hours a week someplace, I'd rather it be as a church pastor. And why on earth would God bring me to the place I am now, with a deepening spiritual life and passion for ministry, only for me to wind up in a position that restricts continued growth in those areas? And then there's the fact that if I took this position, I might have to surrender my credentials if it's not considered a valid extension ministry (and since the company and position are entirely secular, that's a strong possibility).

So, my current instinct is to turn down this position if they offer it to me. But it could be very difficult to do so, especially if the pay winds up being really really good. So, I'm asking you to pray for wisdom and peace of mind for me.

What are your thoughts?


Mary Beth said...

praying for your discernment.

Terri said...

can you talk to the leadership of your denomination about this and see what they think - before the position is offered? can yo ask them what they would think if?...Certainly there are all kinds of ways this could be seen as a ministry....and sometimes if you get the approval ahead of time, before you do something, you also get the support you need...just a thought, to add to your discerning, instead of doing it all alone.