This month, when I am ordained as an “elder in full connection,” I will receive the ecclesial equivalent of tenure. At least for a couple of years. The system of guaranteed appointments for elders in good standing will likely come to an end in 2012, as this Christian Century article points out, and I say good riddance. As one bishop who studied the current system writes, it creates “a culture of mediocrity. It allows people to coast rather than to continue to strive and grow.”
I’m all for striving and growing—and trusting my future to God. When we pray, in the Wesleyan covenant prayer, “Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee, exalted for thee or brought low for thee,” do we mean it or not? God has called me to do this thing that I’m doing now. I believe that with all my heart. It’s not up to a human institution or employment contract to secure my future.
God, let me be faithful to the task you’ve given me, and I’ll let you take care of the rest.