So what does a pastor do when he is in a conservative church and realizes that he really needs to come out of the closet? It’s not an easy choice. Being a pastor in a conservative church is one of the few professions in the world where your job is in jeopardy if you decide to come out of the closet. So keep your job and live a lie? Or live the truth, knowing that you will no longer have a job and that will GREATLY impact your family?
This is what I am currently going through. My wife and I have decided that we will not do anything regarding our future until I have a new job. Great idea, right? Well, I just limited my job prospects by accepting the fact that I’m gay. And it also isn’t a very good economy right now so jobs are few and far between anyway! So I am definitely fighting an uphill battle.
I have been looking at denominations that are open and affirming to see if any of them would be a good fit for me. My options are few: Metropolitan Community Churches, Episcopal Churches, United Churches of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran Churches, some Presbyterian Churches, and the Disciples of Christ. In looking at these options, I decided that the Disciples of Christ was the denomination that would be the best fit for me theologically. Also, many of the other denominations would require additional schooling or apprenticeships in their churches before I could officially be ordained with them. So I pursued the Disciples of Christ.
In the last week, I have had two meetings with leaders from the Disciples of Christ. The short version of the story is that they want to welcome me with open arms…I would just need to go through the process of having my ordination affirmed with them. The problem is that there are no open positions in any of their churches in my state or in the state just south of me. There might be some open positions 6 months from now but that would require me to move 2-3 hours north…and I’m just not willing to do that right now. I need to stay close to my family. Also, I found out that they have no dollars for starting new churches. So essentially, if I want to affiliate with them right now, it would take starting a new church and finding funding for my salary somewhere else. Not good.
I am not giving up, though. I really feel called to lead a church that is a progressive Evangelical church and is open/affirming of the gay community. So now I am going to look into other options for funding such a work. It is a bit discouraging but I have to trust that God will provide…somehow.
Will you please pray with me in all of this???