Here we go: The path to ministry

Image: Lee Key

I wrote a post a little over a year ago (you can read it here, if you wish) that I considered deleting days later. Surprised I hit ‘Publish’ to begin with. It didn’t get a heck of a lot of traction, and for that, I was thankful. So many times, my cursor hovered over that ‘Delete’ button, but as much as a part of me wanted to kill it, another stronger part of me kept it alive.

For the longest time, I’ve been considering the ministry. In my post, I explained the tradition and path I was considering (which has changed a little bit — I’ll explain more below).

And then… I chickened out. 
Big time.

My ego got its footing back.

Who am I to become a minister?

Well, here I am more than a year later, looking around at my personal life as well as the world at large. It’s interesting times we live in today. Although I’m sure things are working out in divine order (aka: messy and bloody and dirty and gross, but generally trending towards the better, in the big-picture), I can’t help but feel this pull to play a bigger part.

Self-awareness is huge in life. I know that I’m an enneagram 9 and an INFP on the Myers & Briggs scale (don’t judge). This means, if I don’t have structure, I’ll stare at my naval until my eyes bleed.

Right now, I crave structure. Yes, I could just keep doing what I’m doing, but I want to step up my game and chronicle a much larger undertaking in my works here. Plus, I dropped out of college. A certain part of me wants some kind of credential.

So here we go, friends. This morning, I sent off my application and enrollment fee to Emerson Theological Institute to start the process.

I have a lot of doubts. There is no foreseeable pot of gold at the end of the rainbow here. I don’t know if I’ll ever work at/open a physical church. If I do, I see it being far different than any church I’m used to.

But what’s cool about this tradition I’m following (new thought/religious science — no, this isn’t ANYTHING like Scientology) is that they’re quite liberal in all the right ways. There really is no central authoritative structure beyond the education. The curriculum calls for study in a wide array of spiritual traditions. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

What does this mean for you and this blog?

Well, I want you to join me on my path to the pulpit — whatever that means. I plan on chronicling and documenting my journey here. All of it. High and low. I’ll share my accomplishments as well as my struggles. I’ll rail against the system and speak its praises as I see fit. I’ll share the insights I glean as well as call bullshit on any rubbish I think I see along the way. I’ll shake my fist and doubt and affirm and all the rest that accompanies a journey such as this one. One thing I do know is it should be interesting.

My first phase of this adventure is becoming a spiritual practitioner. A spiritual practitioner sits with you, holds a heightened consciousness, listens to what you’re going through, takes notes, asks a few questions, and then takes you through a meditatively transcendent experience through the modality of affirmative prayer.

This is nothing like the prayer I was raised with. I remember when I was a kid, kneeling at my bedside reciting the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, and Act of Contrition before my daily wishlist. It was a sure sedative that contained more yawns than words.

No, no… Affirmative prayer changes you at a molecular level. When you hear your truth spoken in the lucid words of a licensed practitioner, a deep part of you shifts. (A large part behind me taking personal journey is the fruit of seeing a spiritual practitioner myself — only took two sessions to set an entirely new life path; not too shabby.) If you’ve never visited a spiritual practitioner before, and you’re open to that kind of thing, I highly recommend sitting with one (my good friend, Joseph Francis Argazzi, is one of the best).

After I complete my practitioner training, I’ll continue on to ministerial training where I dissect the Bible and other texts and learn how to do the things a minister does. In 2–3 years, I should be an ordained minister. From there, who knows? Maybe I’ll open a little center of my own. Maybe I’ll go rogue like Ralph Waldo Emerson and take my words on the road. Or continue digitally. I really don’t know.

All I know is something deep within me is so sure of this (taken me long enough, right?) and that I’m so grateful to have you by my side while I’m doing it.


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Jonas writes short stories and preachments about spiritual, whimsical, creative matters on the daily here in Higher Thoughts. Get one to enjoy with your coffee every morning by subscribing here.