this past week i finished the mid-career workshop of my d.min work. this means i am now halfway through the course work of my degree (of course, i then have to do a dissertation which might take longer than the course work). this workshop was held at the meriatta nobts satellite campus. the campus holds most of its courses within the rooms of johnson ferry baptist church.
in 1994 when i was graduating from swbts i interviewed with johnson ferry for their middle school minister position. i would love to tell you that i wowed them and didn’t go there because i was convinced that it was not where GOD wanted me but that’s not what happened. the truth is that i was VERY excited about interviewing for the position but i didn’t impress them enough to rate a second interview. c’est la vie. johnson ferry is a BIG chuch and at the time i was convinced that a church like johnson ferry would obviously be the type of church that GOD would want me ministering in. it had to be that way because it would be the manner in which i would be able to reach the most people. right?
when i enter the doors of johnson ferry this week i was overwhelmed with thankfulness that i had not gone down the route that i had thought would be best. i wouldn’t be the person that i am today if i had been at johnson ferry. this is not meant as a cut on johnson ferry. i’m sure it is a great church. i don’t have anything against megachurches. i just know that a large church is no longer the route that GOD wants me on. instead i am convinced that HE wants me to be a part of a church that grows to divide only to grow again and divide again (the tapestry plan). if i had gone down the path that i thought was best at the end of seminary i would probably never have been moved by the call of social justice within the gospel of CHRIST, or the thought of growing to stay small, or overwhelmed by the trinitarian importance of community. so when i entered johnson ferry i thanked GOD that i had not wowed the interviewers enough o rate a second interview.
sometimes we need to reflect on and thank GOD for the doors HE closes. those closed doors may have more to do with who GOD shapes us into than the open doors do.