When to be a CON Man!

I’m having a crisis of confidence all of a sudden. It probably has to do with being slightly overwhelmed by the amount of work that has come up in a short amount of time. Possibly it has something to do with my reticence to allow other people’s lack of planning to become my emergency. Possibly there are issues of the amount of work to low pay ratio that just makes everything else stressful. But what is really going on with me is the horror of a tentative job offer.

A few years ago, I worked in the worship department of a rather large church. For those reading this who know me (or just those who might be good at Googling) let me be clear; I loved (read: would have taken a bullet for) my boss. I still love him. I loved (read: would have dared people to shoot him just so I could take the bullet for) the senior pastor. I still would. The short version is I can’t disclose the full story of why I no longer work there. I can say that there was no misconduct on anyone’s part. It was right before the big dip in the recession and I will just leave it at that. I “left” on good terms. I love the church, the staff, the people… ALL OF IT! LOOOOOOOVE!


Sometimes, I still feel like I was thrown under the bus. I accepted this call to ministry, and I found a church that I loved… and then the ground fell out from under me. (Sidebar: I know God had/has a plan. That’s not what this is about.)


Recently, I was told by someone that I really trust, that he didn’t think i was cut out for an “office hours” type of job. I can’t explain why that hurt me the way it did. I can say that it rocked my confidence to the core. The thing is, I didn’t keep office hours at the church; not regular office hours, anyway. I lived about 45 minutes away from the church, so coming back home and running errands (doctor’s appointments, etc) was not easy like it was for other staff members who might live 5 minutes form the church. Therefore, I often took mornings to do my in-town errand running and then went into the church. It was not uncommon for me to, even then, stay at the church for 12 hours or more a day. The last big production week we had, I came into the church on Sunday morning at 8:00 and left the church Thursday night at 11:00. Yes, I slept in my office. The changes being made in the production made the time lost in the back and forth of travel (settling in, etc) counter-productive.

Understand, I don’t say this to glorify myself; I loved doing it! I hated being apart from my family (And that is, I think, a big part of the aforementioned “God plan”, but, again, that’s not what this post is about.) but I loved the work! Then to hear, from someone at the church, that he doesn’t think I am an “office hours kind of a person” has just rattled me.

“Poor, James…” No wait, even all that isn’t the issue. That’s just the background. Now to this tentative job offer.

A friend of mine has recommended me for a position at a church. It’s an associate pastor of worship. Basically, my exact same job except that the expectation seems to be more creative (i.e. arrange songs and see to it that the church makes recordings.) and to be a primary keyboardist. And that’s the rub…

I’m a multi-instrumentalist, but I’ve been playing drums a lot and I haven’t done a lot of arranging in the past couple of years… Put that together with the confidence shaker and I’m a bit of a mess right now. So, what do I do?

Proverbs 3:25-26 tells me everything I need to know.

Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.

If God has called me (He has) and God has ordered my steps (He has) and God has promised to look out for me (He has), then I needn’t worry about anything.

That goes for you, too. If you put your trust in God, then the Lord HIMSELF will be your confidence. I don’t have to have self-confidence, and neither do you. God will be the source of your strength and every ounce of confidence you need.

Because, after all, everybody blows it at least once… Sometimes in a very public way.


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