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Shelf Life

What happens to your ministry calling when you can't find a ministry job?

I'm a 48-year-old professional minister. I have two master's degrees and a doctoral degree in Bible and practical theology.

And I'm out of work.

I possess six years of experience as a senior pastor, 12 years preaching cross-culturally, and nine more teaching in a Christian college.

And I'm out of work. Again.

This isn't the first time I've been in this position. It may not be the last. But it sure is frustrating.

Some ministers go an entire career without any downtime between their places of professional service. Ministers like them may find it unthinkable to imagine that God would ever shut the door where they currently serve without already having lined up their next assignment.

Truthfully, I envy those ministers. A long-term, full-time ministry position provides a sense of identity, stability, and success. Being able to say "I am the senior pastor at such-and-such church" or "I serve as associate professor of Christian ministry at ...

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