It’s a dream that popped into my head every now and again while I was in Ithaca.
I pack up my stuff, and my family, move to California and become a landscaper…or perhaps I just mow people’s lawns. (Okay, I admit it, at my lowest points I just snuck off to California on my own without the family…at my lowest points, they would have been okay with that.)
I’ve known other pastors whose dreams are similar, but involve working at Wegmans or something similar. (However, since I spent 5 years in Albany working at Grand Union, a grocery store has never ever a dream of mine again.)
I won’t go into all of the reasons why being a lead pastor is hard. That isn’t the point. But it is.
For me the dream was about going to work and being able to perform and complete a very defined task (church stuff, is always “in process” and never really finished). Watching people do things detrimental to their lawn, would be less painful than watching them do things you know are going to be detrimental to their lives.
The “dream” usually involves a job that you can leave at the end of the day and not think about until you are back at it the next day. Pastoral stuff on the other hand tends to be a bit “sticky.”
You get the idea.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some really good things to being a pastor. But I heard someone else say once, if you are not called to it, and you can do anything else, you should.
In my current situation I’m realising that there is another reason the dream involved something as simple as mowing the lawn…say you go to college and get a degree in a specific field (for me, that would be Human Resources). Then, once you graduate from college, you get a part-time job in a grocery store so you can start a campus ministry. And after you do that for about 5 years, you spend the next 18 years working full-time in a ministry setting.
Now, I look at these past 23 years & know I have used a lot of my HR/Business Administration education. I’ve learned a lot about leadership, organisational systems; church leadership is a pretty “people intense” type of job where you need to be able to relate to all different types of people in all different types of places in their lives…and think I’ve become a pretty good teacher/public speaker.
But say you’re a person looking to hire someone for a job. Maybe you work in the HR department, and the job experience on someone’s resume for the past 23 years is “pastor.” Are you thinking, “I was hoping we’d get a pastor who’d be willing to apply for this job.” Yeah, probably not.
It was actually a few years ago, when it hit me that “a decade or so being a pastor, and you have pretty effectively removed yourself from the job market.” Of course at that point, I didn’t imagine I’d be reentering it again so soon…and in another country…with an unemployment rate in double digits no less.
But here I am.
I’ve been sending out some resumes & cover letters over the past couple weeks, and am pretty excited about each of the places I’ve applied to at this point. Since we are strongly thinking that even once the church is up and running I’ll remain bi-vocational, working for someplace I’m excited about would be great.
And while I could blog about the ups & downs of our house hunt…I probably won’t go into too much detail about my job search…just know that it is well underway & I’d appreciate your prayers.
What is your dream job?