Into the New Year: Without a Net

no netToday marks the first day I am completely self employed. There is no net anymore.

Back in June I wrote about the change in my employment. I left my position as Media Pastor at First Baptist Orlando to work on new TV and video projects that appeal to people under age 50. Specifically, I produced 5 more episodes of a series called “Peculiar“. And I took on contract/freelance work.

Sometimes I am asked why the church didn’t help me with my new ministry project? I always quickly reply that they did very much help me. They allowed me to remain employed at a significantly reduced pay doing even more significantly reduced work. I worked the equivalent of a part time job, and they still paid me a salary (Which included benefits). That “net” allowed my family to have some certainty about finances. It didn’t pay all of our bills, but knowing that those checks were coming every 2 weeks helped. Our arrangement, as was agreed back in June, expired at the end of the year. There was some conversation about extending it, but things didn’t work out.

I cannot express just how thankful I am for First Orlando and their support of my new venture. While they did not write a check to the actual show, they did write me many checks, which helped tremendously. Yes, I worked there, but they were very generous with compensation. Blessed doesn’t begin to describe it.

I must admit that when I found out for sure that things were not going to be extended at the church, I had a few moments of fear. I have a family of 5. We have bills. Health insurance is expensive.

That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of ways to make money with my skill set. And we have been preparing. We have eliminated almost all our debt, and even refinanced the house in preparation for this time. God blessed us with a good bit of freelance work on top of this, so we have a few months of expenses in the bank.

Still, it’s scary. There are lots of options out there, and knowing which to choose is hard.

The next day I was up early, reading the Bible, and I came across this passage in James:

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:5-8 (ESV)

That certainly applied to me in this situation. I lack much wisdom in self employment, generating enough revenue to pay my bills and accomplish the ministry God has set before me.

It’s easy to see how doubting that God will direct you can lead to instability and worry and generally, not being at peace.

So, I asked God to give me wisdom in this area. To show me what to do, who to talk to, and which direction to go.

I trust he will.