Tuesday, July 31, 2007

FULL CIRCLE

FULL CIRCLE by Keith Giles

Back in December of 2003 I set out on a journey into full-time ministry. I gladly left my job at Ingram Micro and threw myself into my two part-time ministry jobs. One as a children's pastor and compassion ministries director, the other as a marketing coordinator for Soul Survivor USA.

Over the next four years God would teach me that I can be a pastor without being employed at a local church and that my real place of calling was to be salt and light at a job in the "Real World" where actual people lived and breathed and worked.

About a year ago I left my job at Soul Survivor due to changes within the organization and found myself on the job trail. Mostly I did contract work for a local temporary employment agency. Much of the work was monotonous and painful. God used those jobs to help me put to death my flesh, my pride, and for that I am grateful. A few of my jobs were as a consultant doing logistics and marketing for several local conferences, but those ended after a few months and I was back at the temporary agency again.

I can hardly recount all the interviews I went to and all the jobs I applied for over the last year. So many of them seemed "Just Right" for me. But, for one reason or the other, each of them turned into dead ends for me and I continued to work at various temp jobs around town week after week.

During this same year my family and I have left our traditional church and followed God's calling in our lives to step out and start a House Church in our home. The group has grown into two weekly gatherings, one on Thursday evening and one on Sunday morning.

Through this amazing experience we've discovered what it means to "Be The Church" and how to live out our faith in tangible ways here on our street. We're learning how to love our actual neighbors by building relationships with them and asking God to help us to love them they way He does.

Our "Mission" House Church family has been faithful to pray for us and bless us during this last year of uncertainty. Without their prayers and encouragement we'd never have made it.

So, I continued to work temp jobs and submit resumes and pray for God to open a new door for me and provide a job where I could use my gifts and talents and still pay our bills. By some miracle, God managed to provide for our financial needs month after month. Even though I was only bringing home about half of what I was making before, we always had money for rent and our lifestyle barely had to change all through this time. I honestly don't exactly know how God did it, but He did and I am very grateful.

One day my oldest son, Dylan, who is eleven years old, suggested I find out if my previous employer, Ingram Micro, was hiring. I decided to check it out online and the next day I submitted my resume for a job in their Marketing Department as a Copy Writer.

Last week, after my third interview, they made an offer to me for this same job. After a round of negotiations I finally received a second offer this morning, which I gladly accepted.

Now I am returning to work at Ingram Micro. When I left there in '03 I couldn't wait to become a full-time pastor. Today I have discovered that I can be a pastor in our House Church ("The Mission") without having to take a salary from it. I've also discovered that my ministry is right here on our street where we live. My family has been actively seeking out our neighbors and getting to know them and practicing our faith before them. We're serving them, eating with them, blessing their children and sharing with them. This is all new for us, but we know that this is God's will for our family...and it's good.

Next month I return to Ingram Micro. I can't wait to discover what ministry opportunities await me there. I am excited about working for a living and pastoring on the side. I am thrilled to further explore what it means to "Be The Church" and not just attend one every week.

The Adventure Continues...

I can't wait.

Peace,
Keith
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THEOOZE.COM ARTICLE UPDATE:
These 3 articles are scheduled to appear on TheOoze.com:
JESUS' FAVORITE QUESTION - September 1
WHAT IF JESUS COULD BE YOU FOR 24 HOURS? - September 15
JUDGE NOT - October 1

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NON-CON '08
MARCH 14 & 15
AT TRIANGLE SQUARE IN NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA
WITH JACKIE PULLINGER, DAVID RUIS, JOHN THOMAS, CINDY REITHMEIER AND YOU!
ONLINE REGISTRATION OPENS VERY SOON. MORE INFO AT
HTTP://WWW.NON-CON.COM

***
[END TRANSMISSION]

2 comments:

Parke said...

Sounds like something much better than full circle, dude. Praise God that we are continually shown new things in ways we could never plan.

jamesw said...

Hey Keith. Very cool that you are living out your faith in a real and dynamic way. It was also encouraging to see that you are a freelance writer. I too, have been trying to ramp up some writing stuff that relates to church, culture and spirituality. Blessings on the publication of your book.