This is a guest post by my friend Darrell Vesterfelt. Darrell Vesterfelt is the CEO of the Prodigal Media Group, a storytelling firm based in Minneapolis where he lives with his wife Ally. Darrell is the original #unblogger. You can connect with him on Twitter or call him at (612)802-5227.
I quit my job at a church in September.
It was one of the biggest steps of faith I have ever taken because it was not only a step into the unknown, but a step from the known.
I know that sounds like the same thing, but it isn’t.
You see, recently my wife and I decided to chase our dream of running an online magazine called Prodigal Magazine full time. We didn’t know exactly what was going to happen, but we had this sense that our work with this project was divinely inspired.
For the past nine months, we had been working as a part of a staff team at a church plant, running Prodigal and working part-time jobs to pay the bills. It was a lot to handle, but it made sense. Since the time I was young, I thought that God had “called” me to work in full time church ministry.
Looking back I’m not really sure why I thought this was the case. Probably because I grew up in the church, loved God, loved creating relationships with people, and had other skills that seemed to match up with church ministry.
So I went to school for church ministry, worked internships in churches, and looked for jobs at churches.
When the opportunity came to plant a church, it just seemed like the next step.
When my wife and I started working together to run a small online magazine, I figured it was sort of a side thing. I thought that church ministry was my full-time job, and that anything else would be secondary.
So when Prodigal started to thrive, it surprised me to see how it became it’s own full-time ministry.
Aside from that, I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed the work. I liked working with my wife, I liked building a team of people around the magazine, I was energized by all of the daily tasks and the prospect of growth, and we were starting to see how people’s lives (including our own) were changed by the work we were doing.
So I made one of the most difficult, confusing, but right decisions of my life by choosing to leave full-time church ministry, the only career I had ever dreamed of having, the only thing I had ever known, to enter the world of publishing —
A world I was just discovering, and exploring.
Leaving didn’t make any sense, but at the same time, we knew it was right.
Leaving the comfortable and familiar to follow where we felt God was leading, even when it didn’t make sense, has introduced us to the person of God, a God of the miraculous who loves his children lavishly and takes care of their every need.
We’ve experienced his character in ways we never did before.
When God tells you to do something that seems stupid, or that doesn’t follow conventional wisdom, it’s difficult to respond. You worry about what people will say about you, and you worry if you’ll end up failing, running out of money, or looking like an idiot.
Then, any one of those things will happen.
And you’ll realize it isn’t as bas as you thought it would be.
What you’ll find is that God doesn’t see things the way we do. In order to follow him we have to trust that He sees what we don’t. Lots of things will get in your way, and you’ll have to overcome those things, or let them go completely.
You’ll never regret trusting Him fully.
I know we haven’t.
Has God ever asked you to do something that seemed stupid? How did it turn out?
President of Prodigal Magazine
President of Prodigal Magazine