Why I Left A Ministry I Loved

As of January 1st of this year I stepped down as the Prison Ministry Coordinator for Granger Community Church. I led the prison ministry there for around five years and found it one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done. I have said many times that from the moment Jesus saved me I knew that I must do ministry. It was a lightning bolt to my spirit that said “love your wife, and tell people about Jesus”.  

That lightning bolt is part of the reason that I had to step down. You see, I was not a vocational minister as part of GCC’s prison ministry, it was all volunteer. I also work as a railroad engineer to provide for my family. The railroad steals me away from home close to three-hundred hours a month which leaves little time for much else. It became clear that I could not effectively lead a ministry and love and provide for my family under the current circumstances. I believe God wants us to minister first to our families and then to others, what was happening was the other way around. 
My family inevitably got only the leftovers of my time and attention and took a hit financially when I had to miss work to attend to the ministry. In addition, my guys that I absolutely love down at the prison, as well as the awesome team that I had the joy and honor to work with, only got the leftovers of the leftovers. In the end no one got what they deserved and I was left guilt-ridden at wanting to make everyone happy and succeeding at making nobody happy. 
It has been about two months now and I admit it is a struggle. There is a pull in my gut to get back in to something organized. I know I know, we can all minister right where we are, and I do, but it’s not enough. I need to get in front of people, point to Jesus, and yell “He is the answer!”.  I guess that makes me a weirdo. 
On the positive side I have been blessed to spend some real quality time with my wife and kids and it has been fantastic. They are getting my full attention and I love it. We are planning a big trip this summer and we are spending time together in the meantime waiting out this retched winter. (This cold can bite me!)
Who knows where God will use us next? I am committed to following where he leads and I am excited to see what’s around the corner. 

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