After talking with my pastor, he suggested I finish my degree and take some seminary classes. As another pastor friend told me, "If you are going to use a hoe, you need to sharpen it." Studying ministry and preaching techniques is important for effective ministry, which I beleive he was trying to tell me.
I finished my degree and, while in the process, was told of a small store front church that needed help leading worship. I am a gifted musician and had always thought this was the area God was leading me. I worked with this church fo about 12-15 months and the pastor offered me the job full-time. I tried to force the issue on my wife and daughter. Never a good idea. My wife was not hearing anything from God concerning this little church. In fact, she was adamantly against it. She was so much against the idea that she didn't want me to even think of seminary.
There I was, stuck with no place to go. I started into a graduate program in History, thinking I could teach college evening courses. That was my new goal. I was miserable. I hated my job. I wasn't happy in anything I did, except mission trips and getting people excited about missions. This summer, I was asked at least a dozen times while on missions trips if I was a pastor. I would say no, then be depressed. We went to Ireland for a vacation and we fell in love with the people. I could see us holding home Bible studies and working with the small Baptist churches that were trying to survive against the established Catholic and Irish churches. My wife felt the same way. We even picked the same region we would like to live in. I was still miserable.
After the Ireland and Brazil summer trips, we had 4 straight Sunday evening services that focused on missions. We heard from all the different mission teams: Croatia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Gulf Coast and Sri Lanka. We heard from an evangelist concerning his work in the Ukraine and Eastern Europe. I was crying during and after every service. I was miserable.
What could I do? Tomorrow, I will bring the story up to date.