During the first year of Quest, I was without salary and had tried so hard to obtain a job – any job – but I realized the painful truth that pastors [outside their jobs in churches] are useless in society. I discovered that my Masters of Divinity degree…well…wasn’t really all that divine. It was actually pretty useless. After several months of looking for work, I finally landed a job as a janitor at a Barnes & Noble store in Lynnwood, Washington.
Not my idea of a “dream job.” It was one of the most difficult jobs and periods in my life – especially because this took place at a time when I thought I would be kicking ass in my “career” as a pastor. Damn my hubris…
Because the dude is an idiot. He’s insane. He’s stupid and crazy = Stupid Crazy. And well, as a former janitor…I kinda understand this dude.
He and his wife, Pam, prays, wrestles, and obeys “conviction” to move out to Seattle from Maryland about a year ago to plant a church in West Seattle. Don’t they know how unfriendly Seattle is to churches, christians, pastors, and anything that smells of religion? And furthermore, they aren’t alone…they have three young children. Parents who read this know how difficult it is to take steps of faith when infants and kids are involved. These cats are stupid. These cats don’t have cheezburgers.
While they were establishing roots and relationships, they were also looking for a church to worship and found their way to Quest. Jason wanted to volunteer – even while working on the churchplant and after a conversation or two, Jason has been working as our part-time custodian or maintenance dude for the past several months.
While he’s doing good work at Quest sweeping, vacuuming, scrubbing the toilet, and all the glorious stuff that your Masters of Divinity degree affords you, the churchplanting vision is slow-going but they keep having faith and moving along in their hopes of helping create a beautiful and vibrant church community in West Seattle.
Not many people know about them; Hardly anyone has heard about Ethos [their church name]; Jason likely won’t be a “superstar pastor”: won’t get a book deal, won’t be written about in magazines, and honestly, I don’t even know if their churchplant will be around a year from now. Most don’t survive here in the Northwest. But in a worldview where we gauge success by numbers, buildings, budgets, big helicopter egg drops, multi-sites campuses, and book deals…
Jason is a hero in my world.
99.9% percent of the world doesn’t know about Jason but you should. Visit his blog and seriously, if you’re living in the West Seattle area or you know of some folks that do, give him a buzz. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I like Jason and he’s doing a good job as the janitor/maintenance dude at Quest but honestly, I’m looking forward to the day I can go Donald “You’re Fired” Trump on him so that he can devote full-time to the mission and vision of Ethos Church.