Hanging Up Your Cleats?

Hanging Up Your Cleats?

Written by J. V. Fesko |
Sunday, May 12, 2024

Regardless of how you serve, just because it is no longer as an ordained minister does not mean your life is over. Granted, this might be a very bitter pill to swallow. If you try to pursue the pastorate regardless of the circumstances, even if providential signs are pointing in the opposite direction, you very well might make yourself and family miserable. I do not pretend for one second to assume that changing vocations will be an easy thing. But I do know that no matter what, God always has us right where he wants us even if that means leaving the pastorate and serving in a secular vocation.

What do you do when you find yourself at the crossroads of life and there are no signposts? What happens when you lose your pastoral call and you think you should change vocations? Or what happens if you graduate of seminary and after a number of years you still haven’t been able to get a call? Should you hang up your cleats? Making such decisions can be difficult and heart-wrenching. You spent years getting ready to serve, believed you sensed a call to the ministry, and even had others seemingly confirm your call. The thought of quitting the ministry can therefore be quite devastating.

I think the most important thing to remember in such circumstances is the fundamental nature of who you are as a person. Your life’s activities should not ultimately define you, rather your union with Christ should define you. Your union with Christ is the foundational bedrock of who you are—this will never change. You will never lose your salvation, or more importantly, Christ will never let you go. There is nothing in this whole creation that can separate you from the love of God in Christ (Rom. 8:31-39). Christ has neither forsaken nor abandoned you just because you will no longer be a pastor. Your vocation might change, and in fact, has changed throughout your life. You were once a full-time student, perhaps then an engineer or police man, and then you became a pastor. Just because God determines that you will better serve him in a different vocation does not mean that he does not love you or is casting you aside.

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