Saturday, May 14, 2011

LifePointe Ministries

LifePointe Ministries - LifePointe

As part of reDEEfining my life this year, I am stepping out in faith on a new career path.  After nearly twenty years as a school teacher, I've retired and taken a position on the staff of a brand-new church "plant."  My first task as a Plant Team member with LifePointe Ministries has been to use my writing skills to help communicate the pastor's vision.  Please check out our website!

The career change has been a real roller-coaster, by the way. 
Twenty years ago, shortly after meeting Christ and surrendering my life to him, I felt very strongly that he wanted me to go back to school (I'd dropped out of college at the age of 18) and become a teacher.  So I took a lot of CLEP tests, enrolled in some night courses at the community college, and hit the books.  After two years, I had to reduce my work hours to part time so I could complete my junior internship; the following year, I had to quit my government job in order to finish my senior internship.  God provided for my needs, though, and eventually I settled into a middle-school teaching position at Park Avenue Christian Academy, where I've been for nearly sixteen years and where I fully expected to remain for at least five more years.

Imagine my surprise when, with almost no warning, God told me it was time to move on...not merely from Park Avenue, but from the school-teaching career altogether!  So here I am, having the Christian female version of a midlife crisis...I've quit my job, enrolled in seminary, and (as if that's not enough) am launching a new church.  For those who have never done this, it might help to point out that full-time church staff get paid through the generous donations of the congregation.  A new church (known as a "plant") has no congregation.  Do the math.  The logical thing would have been to keep my teaching job until LifePointe was firmly established.  But God is not always interested in our ability to do the "logical thing."  In fact, the Bible says quite clearly that

without faith, it is impossible to please God

and that Abraham was considered righteous because he believed God's promises and showed his faith by acting upon his beliefs (Hebrews 11:6-11), even when they didn't seem logical.

And what about Joshua?  Faced with the task of destroying an impregnable city, most commanders would have begun building siege engines, but those weren't the battle plans Joshua was handed by his commander-in-chief.  March the army around the city seven times, blow your trumpets, and have the people shout.  (If that makes perfect sense to you, you might want to make an appointment with a mental health professional.  Just saying.)  No, this plan was definitely not the "logical thing" to do.  Joshua did it, however, and the rest is history.  "Joshua fit the Battle of Jericho," as the song goes, "and the walls come tumblin' down." (Joshua 6:20)

And it's not just an Old Testament thing, either.  Look at the calling of the apostles.  James and John left their father standing in the boat alone (Matthew 4:21-22); Matthew got up and walked away from his tax booth (Matthew 9:9); Peter and Andrew dropped their nets on the shore (Matthew 4:18-20); Paul turned renegade right in the middle of a mission to stamp out the Church and started preaching the gospel instead (Acts 9:20-21)!  All of these men left lucrative careers to follow a man who promised them nothing but hardship and trouble in this life...and riches beyond imagining in the next.

So here I am.  I hesitate to compare myself with these men, except by pointing out how far short of their example I fall, but I am doing my best to follow their example.  It's not "logical" but it is extremely logical.  As missionary/martyr Jim Elliot said, "He is no fool who gives up something he cannot keep to gain something he cannot lose."

And that's the point, isn't it?

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