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The Celestial Con Man

Could it be that my disappointing experience was God's intent?

Until recently, "con man" was not one of my metaphors for God. But as I reflect upon a recent ministry experience, it seems totally appropriate. Let me explain.

Three years ago, my wife and I accepted a "call" to pack up our belongings, say goodbye to everyone we knew, and move 3,000 miles away to minister to young adults on the West Coast. A part of the job description that especially excited us was the prospect of beginning a new, alternative worship service in a rather traditional church setting. I remember enthusiastically discussing this possibility with my supervisor-to-be and other members of the pastoral staff during my interview weekend. We were stoked!

But as the months wore on, our zeal for the new service began to wane as it collided with one of the unfortunate realities of church administration—the agonizingly slow rate of change. Strategic planning, meetings, budgeting, more meetings, proposals, reports, still more meetings … Truly, we observed, the gears of the ...

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