I’ve been struggling a lot lately – wondering what God is calling me to do going forward. In the context of our potential church merger with Hillside I’m trying to discern my role in maintaining New Hope’s vision while stewarding a fuzzy sense of being called to more involvement in things outside of New Hope. I sense that I need to make more room to write more books. In two weeks I’ll begin teaching (for the first time), a course on being church in a changing world, at Ambrose University. I also have this long-brewing passion to get more involved with helping preachers preach creation texts (I drafted two chapters of a book on the topic 6 months ago and haven’t revisited the manuscript since). So how does this all fit? Can it all fit?
And then this afternoon happens.
Sitting in a class, with a bunch of theology professors learning how to develop a syllabus, I start to feel at home. I feel like I fit in. As this is playing out I get an email that repairs what I thought was a rift in the church merger conversation. It left me thinking that I will have more room for more stuff. Then I get an email from my publisher. We haven’t spoken for months but now he’d like me to get on with some pre-marketing for the next book. Then I meet a lecturer who’s a good friend of a New Hoper and as we speak I feel like the two worlds of school and church can easily co-exist. And then I bump into the seminary dean on the way out of the lecture and he says he’d be very interested in exploring the idea of me teaching a one week spring course in 2016 on preaching two book sermons. And then, as I sit in the school foyer for a few minutes to write this post, three professors from the lecture come up to me and offer ideas on how a newbie can structure their first class. Each had been a pastor in their previous life.
And then I think, there is a way forward for all of this.