Desperate for a New Start in the New Year

My daughters tell me I should blog more.  Seeing that my one and only blogpost is dated this past February, I can’t help but agree.  I am new to this blogging thing, but I do know one thing – blogs must be short and to the point, preferably one point.  In our 140-character culture, people won’t be able to process more.  But knowing the ramblings rolling around in my head and heart, I don’t anticipate this second attempt will be short nor to the point.  Sorry.  But here is the major theme – I desperately need a new start in the new year.

December 27th was my last time in the pulpit I have had the privilege to stand behind for the past seven years, and perhaps my last time in any pulpit after 30 years of licensed ministry in the Christian and Missionary Alliance.  I am thankful to God for each of those years!  God definitely and directly called me to know Him and serve Him when I was fourteen years-young.  I began “ministry” as a fulltime endeavor when I was only nineteen and stumbled upon starting a youth ministry in my hometown.  After that, I was blessed to receive discipleship training at Last Days Ministries and St. Paul Bible College, all the time being involved in serving my Savior.  I was burdened to serve among those who had never heard the name of Jesus once, instead of staying among those who had heard His Name and rejected Him a thousand times.  After graduation and marriage to my lovely bride, I began to prepare for overseas ministry by doing my “home service” at a rescue mission, where I was blessed to serve homeless men, prisoners, and inner-city children and their broken families.  In my free time, I began church ministry by doing pulpit supply and interim pastorates in some incredible churches.  While my wife’s health prevented us from going overseas, we began pastoring local churches soon after.  We have been blessed to serve God and His children in three church plants and four established churches over the years.  My fulltime ministry life is now over because my wife’s physical and emotional health continues to decline daily, and because of the churches we served, all but two no longer exist.  While I see how the end of those ministries was God’s will and has opened the door for other multiple churches and parachurch groups to begin, it still doesn’t look good on my resume.  While I imperfectly served those congregations, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t do anything major differently.  I truly did all I did not for my own benefit, but for my King and His Kingdom.  That being said, looking at my resume, I wouldn’t hire me today!  I am branded as a loser – a failure – one who couldn’t get it done.    Now, as our current small and struggling church continues to become smaller and experience more struggles, we reluctantly move on.  To what, I do not know.

All I ever wanted to do was share the Jesus I love with others.  As I look back over the years, I hope some have met Him and now walk with Him more intimately as a result of my existence.  Yet, I fear that John Piper’s book, Don’t Waste Your Life has become my own story.  One of my favorite movies, It’s a Wonderful Life, has now become one I cannot watch without bawling like a baby as I wonder if there are any lives I have touched.

Yet, after all of this, I am more convinced than ever that God is faithful!  I am more thankful than ever that Jesus is my Redeemer and Lord, that my Loving Father has adopted me as His own, and that the Holy Spirit indwells me so that the life of Christ is my life.  And I am more convinced than ever that Jesus truly loves His Bride – the Church!  I still believe these words:  And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6 ESV).  I rest on these truths:  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28 ESV), and No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37-39 ESV).

I doubt that anyone has been able to read this far, but if you have, please pray for us.  I am applying for all kinds of jobs.  My body with fifty-plus years of wear and tear doesn’t feel up to an entry level physical labor job, but that seems to be all I am qualified for, after decades of ministry.  I am told that my bachelors and masters in ministry aren’t enough for chaplaincy or other ministry positions.  As I hunt and peck at this keyboard, it is apparent I do not have the computer skills to do most office jobs.  I can’t convince people to buy something they don’t need, so sales probably won’t work out.  Please pray that God will provide some employment (I am not picky!) so that I can provide for my family and so we won’t be homeless (again – but that is another story).  Pray for the emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing of my dear wife and precious girls.  And please pray that in all things, Jesus is glorified!

Author: Brian Heinen

I am simply a Christ-follower who wants to share the incredible Savior I met with others.

4 thoughts on “Desperate for a New Start in the New Year”

  1. Brian, you were instrumental in my becoming a Christian in high school. Know that your labors in God are never in vain and that you have touched many lives. I pray that God will bless you and give you direction and encouragement. You and your family are loved! Ann (Heimerman) Hardginksi

  2. I’m not sure if we are suppose to leave our comments here, but I’d like to say just a few words. After Chaplain Paul left when I was 16, I left the church because I didn’t have the appreciation for it anymore. I was a teenager, I wanted a bigger church with better music and more youth to hang out with it, blah blah blah. Once I heard there was a new pastor at the CMA that my dad didn’t automatically disagree with, which is hard to come by anymore, I knew I had to come back and check it out. After I heard you speak only a few times, I knew that I had found my way BACK home to the CMA. Then I got married to the love of my life. Aaron and I were struggling to find a church that best fit both of our upbringing in different denominations. He was raised Church of Christ, I was born and raised in the CMA. As we were dating, we had a few disagreements on what we believed in, not major things, just minor traditions that were different. We compromised on me attending a Church of Christ church all Sundays except the first Sunday of every month because that is when the CMA had elected to do communion. We then decided to attend CMA night church after my parents had encouraged us to do so, claiming they were learning so much. We then, slowly started going back to regular services on not just the first Sunday. Aaron loved listening to you speak. Every week after we would leave he’d say “He was talking to us!” Suddenly, it seemed I didn’t need the better music, I didn’t need couples my age being there just to make it seem better or more comfortable. The Word isn’t about making people comfortable. It ruffles feathers, It calls you out when you are wrong. But it’s still loving. People need tough love and I think you represented just that. Don’t get me wrong, you were never negative, you were truthful. You stuck to the TRUTH, lived by the Bible. That’s who I want as a pastor, not someone who makes 100K a year at mega churches and gets you in the pews every Sunday by saying God is lolly pops and rainbows. That’s not REAL. Your sermons were not only touching, they were ever changing. I feel our marriage is stronger now because our faith is stronger now TOGETHER. And that is you, through God. I see it. My parents, I think, see it. I just hope one day you and your family will have comfort knowing you may not have changed 100 lives, but you changed ours and that’s very special to us. Thank you so much for your service to the church, not only the CMA entity but God’s bride. You are a wonderful father and very loving husband. I know you will truly be awarded in Heaven! I will pray for you and your family to find peace and comfort during this time of transition in your lives. I will definitely listen for job openings. Please keep in touch. Love Aaron and Ashton Smith

  3. I wish I knew what to say but I don’t know how to respond to how you are feeling. I know you are doing what you believe is right and I respect you for it. However, I also feel like your leaving is the biggest loss to our district ministry team that I can remember in my twenty-three years here. In eternity, I believe you will get a chance to see what you have meant to many people as you have faithfully followed the Lord. I know you plan to keep on following and serving the Lord and that it is necessary to leave the pastoral ministry now. Many other good pastors have made this same decision after experiencing some of the same struggles that you have dealt with and many of those have found a place of service and new joy as they have seen God open the right doors so that they can earn a living and follow the Lord on a different path.

    My prayers are with you as you seek to discover what God has for you now. There are many possibilities for work for anyone who has a college degree and a masters degree. Once you get in somewhere people will notice your work ethic and compassionate spirit. I am sure it is hard to see it right now but I believe it is true. I’ll be praying that God opens the right door for you for meaningful employment that allows you to present Jesus to hurting people even in a secular job.

    Please add me to your prayer letter. Rick Koskela — Proverbs 3:5

    1. May many form a hedge of protection around Brian in the days ahead.

      God’s Hedge of Protection
      Job 1:10 and James 5:13-20

      We are together God’s hedge of protection
      Bound in one common cause –
      To surround each other in prayer
      Agreeing to see God’s will done.

      What awesome responsibility is ours!
      If we fail to perform our duty –
      As watchmen of the King on the wall –
      Satan gains the victory – and laughs.

      Will we let him destroy God’s people?
      Will we let him ruin Christ’s bride?
      Will we let him break through the hedge
      And divide us as God’s family?

      The answer is for each to ponder.
      God’s command is clear:
      “Pray for one another
      So that you may be healed”.

      Praying as God’s intercessors is hard.
      It takes time, effort and determination.
      The battle we are in is long.
      It will not end in a day.

      Our prayers must be fervent, precise and holy.
      We must know, and do, God’s will.
      Then as we pray He’ll answer
      And do great and mighty things.

      Jesus, our Lord and Savior,
      Came to this earth with a mission.
      He came to do the Father’s will.
      He knew it would be hard, and demanding.

      From eternity our salvation’s been planned.
      From eternity God’s Lamb was slain.
      From eternity we were part of His plan
      To be a people, holy and wholly, for His glory.

      God the Father gave each of us
      To be a member of Christ’s bride, His church,
      To be saved in due time to worship Him
      In the eternal glories of heaven.

      What glorious thought so majestic!
      Kingly these thoughts are written!
      Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords,
      And one day soon we’ll see Him.

      Then the bride’ll be complete.
      Then all battles’ll be won.
      Then we’ll gather round the throne
      And worship Him, and Him alone.

      But…until that day comes
      We have a mission – to pray!
      Oh God, enable each of us to answer –
      To say “Yes” to our mission.

      Are we ready to accept the challenge?
      Are we prepared to face the foe?
      We must lay ourselves on the altar,
      Willing to die to ourselves for God’s glory.

      Will we do so, or not do so?
      It depends on you and me.
      We cannot do it alone.
      We must do it together.

      We must form the hedge of protection.
      We must not let Satan win the battle.
      We must bond in holy relationships –
      All for the glory of God.

      Let’s take each other’s hands tightly.
      Let’s pledge to fulfill our mission.
      Let’s be what God has made us to be –
      A hedge of protection for His purposes in lives.

      Do this, Father.
      This is Your will.
      Amen and Amen

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