Next Steps in Ministry, Ministry Data Forms, and Curriculum Vitaes

After completing “Cheer Up! The Life and Ministry of Jack Miller” it is time to consider next steps in ministry—something I’ve specifically prayed about now for four or five months.

The ordinary means of candidating is to send a Ministry Data Form (MDF) to the denomination’s Administrative Committee who then matches and sends to churches looking for a new pastor or to post a CV on a site like the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS).

Other than that, I really don’t know how to proceed since I was pastor at Hickory Grove for the last 19 years.

Recently, I was reading one of Jack Miller’s unpublished articles in which he described the danger of pursuing positions, titles, and recognition and how easily chasing these turn into idols.

What was Jack’s recommendation? Rather than pursuing them, let a position or title or recognition come to you.

Sarcastically, my immediate thought was “Thanks Jack … that’s really helpful!”

Providentially, Jack’s wife Rose Marie came to a timely rescue.

She (and others) had heard from somewhere that I was retiring from ministry—something I had not intended to do.

By email, Rose Marie encouraged me to remain in ministry and share with others what I had learned from those eight years of research and writing about her husband.

She then gave me some good practical advice—Ask those who have prayed for you and helped you with Jack’s biography to also pray about where the sovereign Lord would next call you to minister to His people.

Common sense advice!

My wife and I agree—we hope and pray the Lord will use us in ministry for at least another couple decades—with emphases on teaching, preaching, evangelism, discipleship, leadership training, missions, and writing.

I’ve attached the Ministry Data Form and my Curriculum Vitae. The MDF and CV have a little information about a lot of things that are somewhat hard to communicate with such brevity.

I’ve answered the “preference” questions on the MDF with loosely held geographic and demographic delimitations.

Thankfully, I have a wife who has partnered with me for 33 years. For the sake of the gospel, she has been willing to go wherever God has called us.

So our strongest preference is to identify and pray our own preferences to the Lord and then surrender those preferences to His wise preferences.

A primary preference we are praying about is proximity to our kids, grandkids, and families.

But that preference is also relative to the greater context of a loving God’s preference to send His own Son into the world to give us a new and abundant life.

Therefore, for the great privilege of preaching the gospel, we are trusting the Spirit to lead us regardless of size of field or place of ministry.

Would you pray for us about next steps in ministry—inside or outside the US—including teaching the gospel in a seminary or college context, or preaching and teaching the gospel in a local church, or on the mission field?

Also be aware—if the Lord sends us somewhere that we need to raise financial support, I will let you know so you can have the privilege of partnering with us financially to go.

Those of you who know us—sinners saved by grace as we are—if you know of a church or seminary or college where you think we could fit well, would you share our interest and heart for ministry with them?

I’m hoping this request for help and prayer is a good way of walking by faith expectantly waiting for the Lord to work as we leave the seeking of titles and positions and calling in His gracious timely hands.

Love in Christ, Mike

Updated MDF for Mike Graham February 16.pdf

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