A few things have happened since I stepped away from full-time ministry at Hayward Wesleyan Church:
On July 1, I started working for HACIL, a virtual charter school in the Hayward Community School District. I was hired to work with high school students and their families in the area of social studies as well as teach some enrichment classes on-site on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I get to teach Civics with high school students and a STEM class with 5th and 6th graders. Also, on October 1, I got to add technology support to the job at HACIL as well, which brings me to full-time there.
Working at HACIL has been fun and refreshing. I get to work among a group of experienced professionals who are all concentrated in the area of educating and engaging with young people, which means I get to continue to teach and have fun with students (two of my favorite things)!
Additionally, in August, I started studying for the WI Real Estate exam. I got licensed as a real estate licensee at the end of September and have joined Woodland Developments & Realty as a sales associate. I’m excited to join my wife, Amanda, as well as Gary and the rest of the Woodland team in a real estate adventure.
Post Ministry Reflections
It has been interesting to step out of full-time ministry and work in the marketplace (as compared with being a pastor). I’ve had numerous people ask me how we are doing. My stock answer is that we are doing well. If people have more time, or really want to know we share a little more:
What’s been interesting and different is when I was a pastor I was paid a salary. I know that’s obvious, but whenever the issue of a pastor’s pay came up in conversations with folks over the years, I typically shared that a pastor is the epitome of a salary-paid position, in which I meant that I was paid not for the hours I put in, but for who I was as a person. I wasn’t paid to be full-time, but all-time. I wasn’t “on the clock” for a full-time set of hours… you know… the typical 45-60 hours of work in a week with time off in the evenings or weekends. For sure I had time off, but I never stopped “being” a pastor when I was off. It was easier when I was at home. But a trip to Walmart or Marketplace or anywhere else out of my house? Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t negative. I loved it. I didn’t mind it. I signed up for it and I leaned into it. I loved being an all-time pastor. I loved being available and present for people. In fact, I don’t think it’s right for a pastor to be anything less.
Pastors get paid a full-time salary so they don’t have to worry about money. Their needs are met. They don’t have to do any additional income-generating activity, so the intention goes, in order to be able to focus on ministering to people. What a blessing it was to be able to be paid in such a way that I was able to be available and present for people over the years.
What has been interesting and different is now that I’m not a pastor, I don’t get paid that salary to be available and present for people in the same way. Now Jeremy Mavis hasn’t changed as a person, but my availability to love and serve people in the same way has changed. Now my availability is taken up by billable hours. Because I get paid by the hour now, I have to work and focus on my job in order to make money to provide for my family. When I was a pastor, focusing and being available for people was my job and the way I provided for my family.
This hasn’t been a subtle change for me. It’s difficult for me to flip the switch and focus on my job and not necessarily being available and present for people. It’s disequilibrating for me. It throws me off balance. I hadn’t expected this. I have to adjust my expectations of both what I want to be available to do as well as what I can actually do.
It’s been a fascinating transition to post-pastoral life.
For now, I’m focused on a few things:
- My family. My family has gotten the immediate benefits of this transition. They got the mental space and physical presence and availability of their husband and father back.
- Teaching Civics and STEM, interacting with families and students regarding social studies as well as tech support at HACIL.
- Real estate. I’m pretty excited about joining Amanda’s world in real estate. She is so good and experienced in the practice of real estate transactions (both on the buying and selling side). We’ve been intrigued at the idea of working in a profession together. We kinda like each other, so we’re looking forward to working hand-in-hand with one another in taking care of people both listing a home and buying property. Should be fun!