We will all come to a point of decision along life’s journey. Not just once, but multiple times.
One of the first times I remember coming to one such point was early on as a young boy. By God’s grace, the obedience of a praying mother, Cheryl Lowery, and the faithful teaching of my pastor, Homer Bagley, I gave my heart to Jesus Christ at the age of seven years old at my bedside one night. From as early as I can remember I have been taught the responsibility of the believer to live their life in a way that honors Christ in everything we think, say and do. Of course this by no means implies there weren’t struggles, because there were.
I grew up like everyone else, the same temptations, the same potential for both negative and positive influences, and the opportunity to slip up along the way, which I have done. Nevertheless, God mercifully continued to pull on my heart and draw me back toward His center every time.
Over the years I have been involved in leadership roles in the non-profit as well as secular sectors, beginning at the age of twelve by filling the office of junior deacon at my pastor’s request, leading Bible studies at the age of fifteen and being president of the local fire department cadet team.
My greatest missionary calling and leadership role began at nineteen when I married my beautiful wife of thirty-five years and I became father to our wonderful son and daughter.
For the next several years I became more involved in church leadership roles as worship leader, assistant pastor, associate pastor, treasurer, youth leader, Bible teacher, janitor, you name it I did it. My heart was to please the Father, that was all. I determined to never be married to a “position” or “calling” as referred to in the church setting. But rather I was married only to Christ and committed to whatever He needed me to do that would honor His name and fulfill His mission to bring Salvation to the lost and encouragement to the saved.
At approximately twenty-eight years old I felt led to pursue a formalized training program through the Church of God, Cleveland, TN. Upon completion I received my credential and continued my ministry alongside my pastor, Rick Herring, as his associate. During this time I was employed by a multi-million dollar corporation who had spent thousands of dollars on me in leadership training, which included Phillip Crosby “Zero-Defects” training, Franklin-Covey, and other organizational development gurus of the day.
After leaving my corporate career, I stepped into my first Lead Pastoral role at the age of thirty-two and began rebuilding a hurt and fledgling congregation comprised of a small handful of members in Northern California. During this time I continued my Franklin-Covey training and came under the mentorship of the John Maxwell organization, which is where I was first introduced to “coaching” with Dan Reiland. The material presented resonated within me as a new and more effective way to produce results in those I had been entrusted to grow into disciples.
With no official coach training readily available at the time, I utilized what I had learned and, in 2008, after 12 years, we saw the church rise to the 4th largest church in our state for our organization, and the number one church per capita. We had an incredible leadership team and a wonderful congregation. It was then that the Lord moved on me to pass the mantle of the pastoral role to my assistant pastor, Mike Sharp, who successfully carried the torch for the next decade.
At the age of forty-four after bringing our Northern California ministry to a close we were moved to the Central Coast of Santa Barbara County, California to help another struggling church with a well needed restart. The Lord had told me that things were going to be different, and boy were they. The atmosphere there was very heavy and hard to break, there were decades of generational apathy, but even so God was faithful to give us many victories.
In 2015, my sister-in-law, Kathy Williams, came to visit our family. She had been going through some life struggles and asked for my counsel regarding her situation. I asked her several questions and allowed the Holy Spirit to direct the conversation until she began seeing what she needed to do in order to achieve the goals she had discussed with me. It was the next day she told me that I needed to become a Life Coach, and shared how the conversation we had the evening prior had taken her through the necessary steps to help her identify obstacles and redefine her goals.
Immediately her words resonated within me. I went to prayer and asked the Lord to provide the way if, in fact, it was His will for me to pursue this venue. I felt it would be a valued asset in the pastoral role I was fulfilling and would be a blessing to the local church. Not long after with the blessing of my pastoral counsel, Robert Kee, Gib Hullinger and Ron Sutton, the opportunity was afforded me to embark on receiving an official credential in Professional Coaching through Christian Coach Institute, under the mentorship of ICF Professional Trainer, Janice LaVore Fletcher.
Because of the focused training I was receiving at CCI, I saw immediate results and greater progress in those who I had been meeting with than I had seen in the past two decades of using the traditional pastoral guidance methods. God honored the work and quadrupled the size of the church at our highest attendance over the course of almost ten years.
After twenty-five years in credentialed ministry the Lord brought my pastoral season to a close in July of 2017. This was a huge step for my family and me, but it was evident that God was bringing one season to a close in order to bring us into the new season that He had foreordained. I was to step out of the pastoral office and be available for what He was preparing next.
The misunderstanding of the church world is that once you hold the office of pastor you can never be anything else. I mean after all, that’s the closest thing next to God, right?! Wrong. I have spent over forty-two years in ministry, over twenty-five of which have been as a credentialed minister. I look back at this with a sense of awe that God chose to use me in this way. But I was ready to follow my Father into this next season, even though there was no clear direction. The calling to co-mission with Christ never changes, but the office in which He chooses to use us will, can and many times should.
As one who has performed many church and pastoral evaluations I am a personal witness to the fact that hundreds, if not thousands, of pastors in our country are holding onto their positions due to financial need and personal validation. Far past their years of true effectiveness, they continue to hold on to the office in fear of destitution and loss of purpose. They have been pigeon-holed by society and forced to continue in what was once a compensable ministry, but has turned into an underpaying means of survival.
These faithful men and women have been mentoring, coaching and analyzing behavioral patterns most of their ministerial career, but what does this provide for them in the world’s eyes? Not much, after all “they’re just a pastor”. Although they have years of hands on, face to face, in the trenches experience using and creating tools that have been successfully marketed in the secular workplace, the pastor is forgotten and considered irrelevant. This is not the way it is supposed to be.
Whether they are to push through to a new season in their current position, or maybe release it for what is to come next in God’s plan for their life, what is it that holds them back when they come to their point of decision? It is simply this, the Fear of Transition. This is true, not just in the pastorate, but in every walk of life. The Fear of Transition, the fear of the unknown, keeps us bound in the present and never allows us to move into the future.
Don’t let your vision for the future be blurred
by the realities of the present. -Rob Kee
As a Professional Life Coach and member of Christian Coaches Network International, I specialize in Personal Development through Conversational Intelligence and Transition Coaching. I know what it’s like to come to the point of decision in the midst of your journey. This is why it is my great desire to come alongside those facing life transitions and help them navigate the terrain of fear and uncertainty by giving them the necessary support and tools for success.
My authored book entitled “Point of Decision – God’s Provision vs Man’s Solution” by Robert Kee helps the reader walk through a process of hearing God in the midst of their transition, equipping them to make good decisions, ultimately achieving their Divinely inspired goals.
May God bless and keep you as you face your Point of Decision and step out in faith into the new season God is calling you into.
About the Author:
Rob Kee, CPLC, has over twenty-five years of experience in leadership associated roles working with individuals as well as corporate and non-profit groups. Robert Kee uses his skills and experience to share the message of redemption with individuals who are faced with multiple choices at the crossroads of life decisions. Rob specializes in personal development through conversational intelligence and transition coaching. He is also the author of “Point of Decision”. Learn more about Robert by visiting www.RobKeeSolutions.com.