Ten years later, I am still in ministry!
Note: What is the long-term impact of the Transforming Community experience in the lives of leaders? Pastor and law enforcement chaplain, John Knox (TC6), shares the impact of his Transforming Community experience.
Ten years ago, I had it all figured out. Ten years ago, I had been in fulltime ministry for twenty-four years, but I decided it was time to get out. The emotional toll of congregational ministry coupled with the stress of having teenagers in my home propelled me toward change. Compassion fatigue was pronounced. Conflict in the church was starting to feel personal. I was done.
Ten years ago, I took a huge leap of faith and signed up for the two-year experience with the Transforming Center. As I clicked the send button for Transforming Community (TC6) registration, I wondered where I would find sufficient funding to fly to Chicago every quarter for two years. But I felt like an experience in spiritual formation would help me to discern what my next chapter in life would look like. After all, I was done.
I cannot pinpoint the date. Nor can I explain in precise terms what occurred. Sometime during that two-year-period I stopped thinking about getting out of ministry. I was too busy experiencing spiritual renewal. I was learning new concepts. I met people whom I am certain will be lifelong friends. The utter exhaustion started fading. There were moments during worship that I wept internally. As the two-year period unfolded, God changed my heart.
Ten years later, I am still in ministry. Next month, I will celebrate 17 years of service with the same church. And ten years later, I am still serving as chaplain for the law enforcement agencies in my city. My desire for discernment was fulfilled during the TC6 experience. And much more occurred as well. I am not the same person. And by the way, God also provided the funds for travel to Chicago. I am done today. I am done taking life in my own hands. I am done making the plans. God’s surprises are far better.
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