LEAven Blog


Christian Vocation

In my last post I discussed the roundabout way I got into teaching. This time, I’m going to talk about how and why I got out of teaching.

The reasons are not what you might think. I wasn’t  burned out. I didn’t move up to administration. I wasn’t in a school that downsized. Just as I believe God moved me into teaching, I also believe He moved me out. His methods involved my 91 year old mother and stepping out in faith to make a necessary change in emphasis.

 Mom is pretty amazing for 91. She has a clarity about her that rivals people half her age. Nonetheless, 91 is still 91, and to compound things, we live 1,000 miles apart. Both mom and I are only children, so it was no secret who would bear the responsibility for helping her through the late years of her earthly life. Problem was, I had a job that I not only enjoyed but was classified by many as “God’s work.” On top of that, I have been known to display workaholic tendencies. Burying my attention in my work while giving Mom the “leftovers” might have seemed reasonable, even noble to some. What do I do?

 It’s always good to go to Scripture with our questions. When I looked at the temptation of Jesus in the Gospels, I found my answer. Three times Satan posed questions to Jesus. Each question seemed reasonable in one way or another. The world would certainly understand the scope and logic of Satan’s requests. Yet, Jesus never wavered. He knew what the mission was. He knew why His Father had sent him to Earth. He defined His life by principles that He would never forsake. He overcame the temptation to buy into the standards of the world and had faith in His Father and His Father’s principles.

 Understanding full well the need to honor my obligations to my mother and my family, I stepped out in faith and resigned from my teaching position at the end of the 2019–2020 school year. I have been able to visit my Mom between seven and ten days out of every month, and I was especially available when she broke her hip a couple of months ago. I believe the day will come when God will lead me back into a position of professional ministry. Until then, I continue focusing on my vocation as son as well as doing pulpit supply and organ supply when possible. It hasn’t always been easy, but I know I am on the right road. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve God as He uses me within my own family.

Rev. John Greene grew up in north central Florida. He has earned a B.A. from Concordia University-Texas, an MDiv. from Concordia Seminary - St. Louis, MO, and a M.A.T. from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. He has one son, Adam, who is presently in Optometry School. John and his wife Nancy (Adams) live in St. Louis. John’s interests, along with ministry and education, include music, coaching athletics, and shortwave radio listening.

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