The Unmoored Life

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (L) preaching in his church. (Photo by Donald Uhrbrock//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

The Word became flesh and blood,
    and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
    the one-of-a-kind glory,
    like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
    true from start to finish.

John 1:14, The Message

Dr. King’s life reminds me that vocational ministry isn’t limited to church employment. Our calling is bigger than a job.

The incarnation of Jesus takes the Good News preached in our pulpits and invites us to live it out as good news in the neighborhood.

The Unmoored Ministry

It’s been several years since I last worked in a church. It’s a funny thing… you spend a decade pursuing one thing [a career on church staff] and then God invites you to explore something entirely different. [a career serving the church outside of church employment]

If I’m honest I’ve not really recovered. I feel “on purpose” in my work but not quite in the same way as every day grinding it out on staff. And as I’ve written before this sometimes leaves me feeling disconnected and lost. “What am I doing here?” That’s not an unusual question for a Sunday morning. The answer is unsettling: “Just sitting here in this chair, counting down the seconds until it’s over.”

For me, that’s where Dr. King provides some inspiration.

The things we celebrate about Dr. King? Most of them happened when he answered God’s vocational ministry calling by doing something else. Yes, some of that happened when he was leading a congregation. But the big things? They came later.

As I push through a season of feeling a bit unmoored that’s good news to me.

Yes, working in a church is honorable and good. I have many, many friends who work on staff at a local church.

But yes, serving God in whatever you do? That’s important stuff too.

I need to reflect and remember that vocation is different than work. My vocation hasn’t changed. In fact, I might just be leaning into it harder than ever.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

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