The Network and the Net

My cup runeth over.

Today, I am reflecting on the power of two important groups of people in my life who will propel me to my next professional move into ordained ministry. I am thinking about my network and my safety net.

I received an email out of the blue two weeks ago from the head of a search committee for a Disciples Church in Memphis.

The email asked me if I might be interested in applying for an associate pastor job at a Disciples church in Memphis. I could have rolled out of my chair when I read this. Would I be interested? The inquiry felt too perfect.

YES. I WOULD be interested in ministry in Memphis. YES. I AM interested in church ministry, through the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). YES. I HAVE prayed for this very opportunity night after night after night after night….

This inquiry is only a small step. I have no idea where this might lead. I do not know if I will ultimately be the right candidate for this associate pastor position in Memphis, and yet, I am humbled by the power of my professional network that opened this door. (Well, and God, of course!)

The search committee chair received my name from someone at the far corner of my social and professional network. My name did not come up through my connections with the Commission on Ministry (where I have clearly articulated my interest in Memphis based ministry). My name did not come up through my continued relationship-building with the Church Health Center in Memphis. Instead, my name came up in casual conversations between two friends.

As a result of this email inquiry, I turned to my safety net to ask questions. Over the past two weeks, I outreached many of the people who support my ordination with a question about my path to ministry. My question was simple: what does the recruitment process usually look like for pastor positions?

The answers I received were abundant and supportive.

Steve Vandergrift, head of the Commission on Ministry for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) affirmed this incredible opportunity. He guided me through appropriate responses to the inquiry and possible interviews. He supported my interest in possibly an accelerated ordination process as a result of this opportunity.

My mentor, Liz, spent several hours with me last week. She explained pastor interviews, hiring practices, and benefits. She assured me that my professional skills up to this point would carry through into my career pivot from educator to minister. She reviewed my resume.

I continue to feel appreciative, humbled, grateful, and blessed by my network and my (safety) net. God is good. God is present in these communities of people, ushering me down the path in front of me.

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