For four years I was a protestant minister AND a monk with the Brothers and Sisters of Charity. This is an excerpt from my book Taking Off My Comfortable Clothes: Removing Religion to Find Relationship.
As a pastor, I like to tell my congregation that I want to be known as “Pastor Permission Giver.” I want to give people permission to use their gifts, talents and passions for God, regardless of what they are. I figured if God gave a person the gift to paint pictures, then there was some way for that person to glorify God through those paintings. Others might have the gift to learn languages, enjoy working with mentally handicapped adults (my mom has that gift), or write music. Whatever gift you have, it has not been given to you by mistake, and the Creator of your gifts has granted you permission to use your gifts and passions in His Church. And if the church you’re attending can’t find a place for you and your passions, THEN GO FIND ONE THAT WILL! I did.
The Church has too often become a place where amateurs and beginners have no place to practice their gifts and talents. That’s a shame, because the Church should be the safest place in the world to practice our gifts, make a mistake, know you are safe, and try again. Continue Reading