Becoming a Social Media Pastor Part 1: The Valley

Valley_of_the_Shadow_of_Death
Valley_of_the_Shadow_of_Death

Have you ever stepped back from a situation that seemed so perfect and wonder: how did I get here? That's the way I feel in my new role at Community Bible Church on a daily basis.

So many people have asked me how I became a Social Media Pastor, so I thought it was time to tell the story. There are details that are not important, but the journey as a whole is a beautiful story of God's grace and mercy as His plans are always greater than our own. Amen?

While the story ends beautifully (the story is really just beginning), it begins in the valley. About a year ago Katie and I were burying our roots in San Antonio. We had just built a home, had a baby, and I was ordained in the church I was serving as Student Pastor. I was leading a college ministry that we had built from the ground up to become the largest in the city. We thought it was time to bury our roots when God made it very clear that He had other plans for us.

We were scared, hurt, angry, etc. and feeling pretty much every negative emotion that we could at the time. I went from feeling a confidence in my calling as a pastor and my role as a husband and provider to my place in the valley.

I began to lean on community with good friends and family members as this was a burden that I could not carry alone. There was one conversation that happened at the very beginning of my time in the valley with a great mentor of mine, David McNitzky, that shaped my experience. His advice to me was to get the most out of the valley that I can. He said that it is in the valley that we grow the most and it is often how we respond to the valley that defines who we are. Those were not the words I wanted to hear, but they were the words I needed to hear.

Over the next 6 months or so I clung to those words. I sought to get every ounce out of the valley that I could knowing that God was doing a work bigger than I knew. So I began my search. I began to search for understanding who I was, who God uniquely created my to be, and well honestly how I was going to provide for my family. As I said at the beginning, the story starts rough but ends beautifully.

If you are going through a valley in your life I want to encourage you with the same words that David shared with me: Get the most out of your valley experience. It's much easier said than done, but God will grow you more than you could have ever imagined. We are all going to go through valleys in our lives and how we respond to them will define so much of who we are and who we become.

Here are the links to the other posts in this series:

Part 1: The Valley

Part 2: The Search

Part 3: The Find

Part 4: The Experiment

Part 5: The Growth

Part 6: 1 Year Anniversary