The Beginning // Everybody’s got to start somewhere...

It’s the end of my third week at Christ Church. I haven’t really even given the low down as to what i’m up to. The short story... i’m the middle school minister at a great church in Plano TX, a north suburb of Dallas. I’m still traveling, although minimally but don’t worry Erik Willits Ministries is still going strong, just morphing a bit. We’ll see what exactly it turns into. The long story i may share later.

But i’m beginning a new chapter, my family is beginning a new chapter and we’re pretty excited about it.

In the midst of my  new beginning i’ve been thinking a lot about beginnings. Have you ever thought about this? Where do experts and aficionados get their start? I hadn’t given it much thought until recently.

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As my family and i decided it was time for some changes --  for a slew of reasons that i won’t bore you with --  we decided we would each start shopping our resumes and see where God might open doors? I was up for being daddy daycare, youth speaker extraordinaire, or youth pastor in residence, we were just searching for a new beginning. But some interesting hurdles arose.

I’ve considered myself a youth worker for the past 10+ years but during that time i’ve served very little in your typical youth worker / youth pastor role. Stints of traditional student ministry here and there but primarily i’ve been anything but traditional in my pursuit of God and His call on my life. The hurdle that appeared as i began to talk with churches about youth positions, young adults positions, teaching pastor positions was that i hadn’t actually ever done any of those ministries.

Imagine my frustration, 10 years of doing exactly what i thought God was calling me to only to have church after church tell me i was’t qualified for the ministry position they were hiring for. A few churches after seeing my resume wanted to talk. So i interviewed at a few places, i interviewed at one of the largest churches in America, i interviewed at small churches, evangelical churches, mainline churches, all kinds of churches and every church i talked to and especially the couple churches i actually went and interviewed with, an aura of skepticism permeated the atmosphere. Everybody was skeptical of me because i hadn’t spent much time in traditional ministry roles. I guess i should be used to this, over the years not many people have been very understanding of the ministry i’ve done. So yea,  it was frustrating, humbling, and discouraging to say the least.

But it all got me thinking, where do people get their start? The experts and aficionados, who took a chance on them? This is especially relevant as people left and right are losing jobs and looking for new beginnings. How many overly qualified people are working at Starbucks looking for another shot, a new beginning?

Beginnings are hard, chaotic, frustrating, and all too often they are elusive. Survey the Bible, this trend holds up, trust me.

I pray for those who are looking for new beginnings. I pray that the God of second chances would open doors and give a spirit of encouragement and persistence to those in need. And may the rest of us have hearts to perceive those that the spirit puts in our paths. And i pray that whether we deserve it or not, the God of grace would open the right doors and that we would have hearts to perceive and open eyes to see His provision.

Bottom line, I’m extraordinarily grateful and excited beyond measure for the opportunity i have, for the beginning that God has granted me. To work along side of some amazing people, share life with and minister to an amazing group of middle school students (at least the ones i’ve met so far are rad) and just in general i’m grateful and excited for getting a shot to do ministry and impact students and families for the kingdom of God in a new but also similar and exciting way.

[ Ramblings from a Starbucks... ]

Grace and peace

Erik