Part One: Calling
I am one of those fortunate people who has known for a long time what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I mean, I suppose when I was young - before 10, certainly - that I would answer the question with a pretty high amount of variation. Astronaut, firefighter, and (don't laugh) NBA star were all in the mix at some point.
But basically from the moment I chose to follow the way of Jesus through to today, I've known I wanted to be pastor.
There were some distractions along the way. There was an embarrassingly long amount of time in which I thought about being a science fiction author (I still have the handwritten manuscripts). I briefly considered majors in political science, musical composition, and piano performance. But each of those distractions ended up just being cul-de-sacs back towards ministry.
I also met a surprising amount of opposition and doubt about my decision to become a pastor. I was told I wasn't personable enough. I was too smart. Not a good communicator. Not warm. The money wasn't good. That I was wasting the years I had spent learning piano.
But, again, I feel fortunate. God's call on my life has never been ambiguous or unclear. I knew that God had saved my life many, many times in many, many ways. And I knew that I wanted to dedicate every aspect of my life - including the professional - towards serving Him.
Part Two: Ordination
It's an accident of the job market that I've never been ordained. In 2009 I was given preliminary credentials by the denomination I had grown up in. But those credentials were to kick into effect upon finding a job in a church within that denomination.
That never happened.
For the past 10 years I've been fortunate enough to work at Good News Community Church, which is part of the Reformed Church in America. The RCA is a historically Calvinist denomination, adhering to beliefs like individual election, limited atonement, and irrestisible grace.
Turns out I'm not a Calvinist.
So although I've served in pastoral ministry for 10+ years, I never got ordained.