Hi. Remember me? Neil Schultz? Yes, it’s been months. There’s a story to tell here. I deeply missed you all. I missed the interactions over the phone, over Skype, over LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and email. I miss you. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with you all.
Three months ago, my family and I left the church where I served as Senior Pastor. It was not pretty. In fact, it was the result of a brutal four hour long business meeting which my wife and I were uninvited from. No defense. No voice. No opportunity to lead, love or even explain. No, there were no moral (or biblical) grounds for such treatment. No immoral internet accounts or inappropriate relationships. My preaching was solid. Relationally we tried as best we could to connect. Ultimately, it was not a good fit. Rather than get revenge or retaliate, I’ve discovered it best to take the moral high ground, forgive, and move forward with a limp as best we can. They have no idea of the damage done as a result of how hard their heated, aggressive, emotionally charged vote made our life this Summer.
I’ve learned a lot these past few months. I’ve learned about myself, about my wife, about our children, about the Church, about our Lord Jesus Christ, and about denominational processes. I’ve also experienced the sheer gut-wrenching need to gain employment quick, encourage my grieving family, encourage myself as David did in the wilderness, find a new church family, overcome financially, overcome emotionally, overcome identity issues and find new friends for my wife and kids. I’ve learned how I tend to approach everything in life as if I were an orphan… tacking on my prayers at the end of my attempts to figure things out on my own.
Instead of “being done” with ministry, we’ve really struggled with knowing if this is God’s path for us. We believe serving Jesus in the local church is front and center to His calling on our lives. We believe God truly wants us encouraging, coaching and healing church leaders around the world to build healthy, resilient and productive lives, families and ministries for the sake of His kingdom.
Although employment has taken some crazy turns this Summer… by God’s grace and with His help, I became a Farmer’s Insurance agent. Received all the online training courses, took the Property and Casualty, Life and Health Insurance license exams and passed! But I realized about a month into making a serious go at it, that our bills did not cease to exist like our church income had. So, I had to look for work while continuing the agency. A month ago, I received a job fair email. I actually prayed if I should open it. When I sensed God permitted it, I opened it and noticed a familiar company going to be at that event. Instead of passively going to an event like that, I prayed again about calling a colleague who works there to see what they were hiring for. Again, God seemed to approve. I called and my friend picked up the phone right away! Within one day, I was at the hiring table and am grateful to say that I’ve become an Apprentice Funeral Director at a local Funeral Home. What an amazing ministry and opportunity!
My wife and I also welcomed our sixth child into this world a month ago. Our sweet baby Sarah was born on 15 September 2015 and spent four days in the NICU due to Polycythemia (a condition of her blood thickening like sludge and having difficulty moving through her body. She needed a partial blood transfusion to help that and constant nursing in order to bring her dangerously low blood sugars up to normal). I’m grateful to say she is now doing great, although her days and nights are confused right now (leaving mom and dad dazed and confused too)! Our new church family has loved on us more in two months than any of our previous church experiences as a married couple have.
Our girls started their school year at a private classical Christian school, and we couldn’t be more pleased at their progress as well as their character and faith being reinforced at school what they are learning at home. Our boys are growing and maturing and becoming honorable young men at the ripe ages of 11, 4 and 3. Yes, it’s a full house, it’s not a quiet one, but it IS a peaceful home. God is mending us in ways we didn’t think possible.
Through learning a new career, enjoying a new baby, transitioning from straight homeschooling to putting half our children in private school the others still being homeschooled, my wife leading a side business that we work at night after the children are asleep, there’s little down time. BUT, I’ve managed to watch and engage in some deeply meaningful content via Michael Hyatt’s Platform University presentation of (
#InfluenceImpact) The Influence and Impact Summit. I highly recommend you embrace this content, as it will no longer be available after tomorrow night, 13 October 2015.
The subject of my next post “Pastoral Posture and Finding Your Voice” has emerged out of my new discoveries and encouragement. It’s reinvigorated my interest in continuing forward to greater encouragement, coaching, healing and eternal influence of church leaders and their spouses toward a healthy, resilient and productive lives, families and ministries for the sake of His kingdom.
Question: How can we help you in the midst of your struggles at church?