Steve Carell starred as The 40-Year-Old Virgin. If someone made a movie of my life this year, they could call it The 40-Year-Old Seminarian. After 23 years in public ministry, 17 of them as pastor, and 10 as the lead pastor of a megachurch, I'm stepping out of the fast-paced life of church leadership, strapping on a backpack, and going to school.
I moved my family across the continent to Vancouver, British Columbia, to attend Regent College, a graduate school of theology. At the border the Canadian crossing guard asked, "Why are you coming all this way to go to school?" Yeah, I get that a lot. Why give up the lead role in an established church? Why become a student when you're used to being the teacher?
When I shared my decision with the church, I said that I think Jesus still calls people to drop their nets and follow him. Yes, even pastors.
One member of my church asked, "How can you be sure you're hearing from God and not just having a mid-life crisis?" ...1