I must confess that in my most frustrated times in ministry, I have turned for solace to the job listings at youthspecialties.com, or churchstaffing.com, or minstrysearch.com, or even the illustrious list put together by that dude Craig.
Sometimes, (staring at those job postings with their qualifications and prerequisites, and those churches with their programs and statements of faith) I wonder if I could, with any intellectual honesty, continue to do youth ministry, or even work on a church staff at all.
Then I ask myself, "Would I recognize the ideal position if it showed up on one of these sites?" And in response to that, I think I've come up with what I think would be the coolest ministry position ever.
Minister of Questions.
I think I would make a good Minister of Questions.
The guy responsible for asking difficult questions about faith. Questions that need to be asked. Questions that sometimes we are too afraid or too comfortable to ask ourselves. Questions that propel us into a search for something deeper, something fresher, something more real. Questions that actually require truth as their answer.
I would welcome questions from others about my own life and faith, as well. I love them. After all, that's why I'm in the questioning business in the first place! I would work extra hard to make sure that I'm a safe place for people to ask the most scandalous of questions, and offer the most unorthodox of answers for consideration.
I would hold gatherings, large and small, where people could come together to ask and be asked questions (really important ones, and maybe sometimes little fun ones, too). Sometimes I'd answer a question with another question, not to be difficult, but because sometimes the best answer is another question. Sometimes the answers would be life-altering, and would come from the most unlikely people and places. Sometimes we wouldn't really be concerned with answers at all. After all - I'm not the "Answer Guy", I'm the "Question Guy".
When I read about Jesus, and those who interacted with Him, I come across some of the most profound questions in all of life.
"You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Matthew 8:26, Matthew 14:31
"Why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?" Matthew 14:3
"Who do people say that I am?" Matthew 16:13, Mark 8:27; Luke 9:18
"But what about you? Who do you say I am?" Matthew 16:15
"What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?" Matthew 16:26
"Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?" Matthew 18:21
"Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" Matthew 19:16
"What are you looking for?" John 1:38
"What do you want me to do for you?" Matthew 20:32; Mark 10:36, 10:51; Luke 18:41
"Who is my neighbor?" Luke 10:29
"What is truth?" John 18:38
Question after question after question. And sometimes, the question IS the answer. Sometimes the question is such that, to attempt an answer would be feeble and trite.
A couple of days ago I came across the web page of a church that had an obscenely long list of people on their "Staff Bios" page. Like 40 people. Their list included a "Director of Operations", an "Operations Coordinator", an "Operations Service Manager", and an "Operations Weekend Manager".
Now, I don't know what any of those jobs mean, but I promise you this:
If they hire me - I'll certainly ask.