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Somewhere between Too Evangelical and Not Calvin Enough

When you don’t get that job you feel you were born to do, this news can be disheartening. Meanwhile, if you have ever been fired from a job, it takes time to recover from the permanence of this decision. Whenever you find yourself unemployed, starting over is a humiliating process. While it’s good to redefine who you are and what you want to do in the future, waiting for a door to open, the right job to come along and hope to be restored can be exhausting.

But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy [and acknowledge Him] as Lord. Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully. 16 [And see to it that] your conscience is entirely clear (unimpaired), so that, when you are falsely accused as evildoers, those who threaten you abusively and revile your right behavior in Christ may come to be ashamed [of slandering your good lives], 1 Peter 3:15-16.

My first interview for a full time job after attending a youth ministry trade school was suppose to be a slam dunk. At least that’s what I thought since I was good friends with the older brother who was interviewing me. The position was the Youth Pastor at a Lutheran Church in Rapid City, South Dakota. My future office was on top of the Black Hills, overlooking Rapid City. During a series of meetings, I thought I knocked it out of the park until I was told I was too evangelical for their congregation.

Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action), 17 So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Twenty years later, I found myself teaching high school Bible and coaching golf for an Evangelical Free Church in Delaware. This was a dream job that combined my passion for sports and teaching. However, as the church and school went through a scandal, attendance declined. This led to another church buying this property and school in the middle of the first semester. After being reassured that no one would lose their jobs, I was fired on New Years Day, 2012 because I wasn’t Calvin enough. Nearly 10 years later, I still find myself somewhere between too evangelical and not Calvin enough.

by Jay Mankus

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