Broken But Resilient: I’m Already a Campus Pastor (Miniblog #215)
This past year I volunteered with Unite InterVarsity at Baylor University. It has been a restorative ministry context; God’s means of grace in healing my body, conforming my heart, renewing my mind, lifting my spirit, teaching me to love my neighbor, and renewing my hope for the Body of Christ. A recent example brought me to tears. One of the graduating guys told me that, regardless of whether it’s ever formally recognized by the Anglican Church or any other ecclesiastical body, the fruit of my life evidences that I’m already a pastor. He said I’m already shepherding a community, proclaiming the Gospel, making disciples, loving the less fortunate, serving the Church, and helping build the Kingdom. He finished by saying, “You’re severely broken but God has used it in our lives. We can’t believe your resilience. Your time with us has proven your calling, health, fitness for ministry. That’s why InterVarsity hired you to be Unite’s campus staff… Don’t ever try to be like most pastors. You’ve got a unique calling. It’s difficult because it’s important.” These words caused my knees to buckle. I’m not exactly an emo kinda guy, but I fell to the ground weeping hysterically. Many of you know I’ve been dealing with PTSD symptoms mostly from twice having my ordination halted at the 11th hour. Fun times. Suffice to say, this has been a really shitty season of life. There’s no other way to say it. Yet the Lord spoke to me through my friend: I may not ever pastor a church or be formally ordained by a denomination, but I’m already a campus pastor serving the Church. As a painfully self-critical and transparent kinda fellow, I’m consistently the first to acknowledge my fallenness, finitude, and foolishness. Nevertheless, I’ve been faithful to the Lord’s calling upon my life to be a campus pastor. No one can take that away.