“I” Had A Dream!……..

The key word in that title is  “I”.  I’m fairly certain at this point this “dream” was exactly that.   “I” have dreamed for 10+ years about being a full-time music director in a contemporary church.  The fact is this.  Churches that match my skill set are either too big, and want someone more skilled than me, or are very  small and are only looking for someone part-time, which won’t support my family.

 The signs have been there, I’ve just been too blind to see them.

 I was told by a leader that I trust, that even though I had led the music team successfully for 4+ years as a volunteer, that I wouldn’t be hired as a staff member.  I needed to serve in the “minor leagues” before I could serve in the “major leagues”.  That I had major league talent, but no experience.  Not what I wanted to hear.

I was told about 18 months ago by another leader exactly what I’ve experienced above.  My skill set is not condusive to the job that I covet. I’m not skilled enough for the big churches, and don’t know enough about media & video, for the medium churches, and small churches can’t support  my family.  He was right, but I didn’t want to accept it.

Since then, I’ve applied for 3 full-time positions.  The first two, it has become fairly obvious that I wasn’t what they were “looking” for.  After all, contemporary  churches aren’t looking for a 40 year old, overweight worship leader to lead their body in worship week in & week out.  Is it perception?  It was initially, but I’ve actually heard the words spoken in one case, and had it honestly confirmed from another friend in leadership at the other church.

The third situation was a big church in which my skills just didn’t match up.

Now, before  we all jump to my defense, let me defend myself.  I’m honestly not all  that upset by it.  I’m most disappointed in all of the time that I’ve wasted.  That’s not to say that God hasn’t used me, or still can’t use me.  I’m serving in a wonderfully healthy situation right now.  Good leadership.  Humble leadership.  Encouraging leadership.  I could serve every week right now if I could, but with 3 small children and a  really talented wife, I need to keep the boundries where they  are currently at.  I’m ok with that.  I’ve been encouraged in my giftedness, and am confident in time, I’ll once again get to stretch my worship leader wings.  The time just isn’t now.  Patience isn’t one of my strong points, so I’m sure God will teach me a lot in this season.

 So what’s next?…….

I keep on keepin’ on.  I continue to battle  my weight, almost hourly.  I continue to do the best job husbanding and parenting my family.  I continue to be the best job of teaching band that I can, trying to focus more on my students experience, and worry less about what the critique of the MS & HS staff.  I continue to serve God when & where I can, to the best that I can.  Look for opportunities to stretch & grow when they present themselves.

It’s time for a new dream.  It’s never too late……….

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5 Comments

Filed under "Head" issues, "Heart" issues, Church stuff, Life change

5 responses to ““I” Had A Dream!……..

  1. Beth

    Why give up the dream?! Dreams take work and steps to get to them. I dream of teaching middle school kids..and have been working (part time) for 1 1/2 yrs and have 3 more years to go to get my Masters degree. Dreams don’t come true without the effort. I know you have worked hard in regards to your weight. I also know you are a very intelligent guy (I did go to school with you!) and can learn new things – like the video & media skills that you need for a position with a church.

    Don’t give up on your dream – keep working on your experience at your church, learn some new skills and keep on top of that weight loss! You can do it and I personally think you would be wonderful at leading a church musically. Take the information from the declines and improve your skill set.

  2. Cory Orphan

    I can relate to how you’re feeling, Doug. I’ve experienced the frustration of wanting to use the gifts God has blessed me with for His glory, but finding no open doors to walk through.
    I’ve spent much of the last seven months learning about waiting on God. As a kid raised in church, I heard that phrase a million times, but I never knew just how difficult it can be. I also never knew how rewarding it can be.
    I know now that God wants us to stop trying to figure out how He is going to make things work out for us. He wants us to simply obey Him, serve Him, and trust Him to provide our every need. It’s really only blind obedience the first time. When we first step out and trust God, we are trusting that He WILL BE faithful to us. After that, our obedience is based on our experience – knowing that He IS faithful to us.
    It’s during the times that He requires us to wait on Him that He tests our faithfulness to Him. We know that He is faithful, but can we let go long enough to let Him show us that what He wants for us is far greater than what we want for ourselves? Far too often we fail those tests, grabbing back our problems from God and saying smuggly, “I guess I’ll have to handle this one myself.”
    God’s heart breaks every time we do that – not because we’ve cheated Him, but because we’ve cheated oursleves out of the blessings He longs to pour out on us.
    I believe that God has not allowed you to find a worship leader position because He has something better for you. Maybe not better by worldly standards, but something that has a greater impact in the Kingdom of God, and in the family of Doug and Joni Ruhs. Keep serving faithfully where He opens doors for you. Listen for that still small voice to lead you. And, know that, “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.”

  3. You are a great husband and father. You are a great musician(& vocalist 🙂 ). You are an awesome friend. You’re a great band director. Remember that parent’s note? It wasn’t the music, it was you who inspired her child. I am excited about the radio thing. I am praying that we will have the financial ability to start you this year and that there will be an opening for you.

    God has given you a dream. Like King David who was anointed King of Israel, he didn’t assume the throne right away. He went through an enormous amount of attacks and training along the way. Or Joseph, who had huge dreams but interpreted the one about the sun, moon and stars bowing to him according to the present time and not the future. He went through betrayal and disappointment over and over and eventually saved nations. Yet, God’s faithfulness brought both men eventually to the purpose He set out for them. Those two men remained faithful in the positions laid out for them until the time came.

    I love the verse Cory quoted for you “He who began a good work…will be faithful to complete it”. I would love for you to feel free to enjoy the day to day without worry. All this is easy for me to say. I don’t have the pressures you do to lead, provide and protect our family. And as my Dad said, you are doing a great job and we have a great family. I love you Doug. I don’t know what God has specifically in store for you but I know He does. The same power that resurrected death to life is the same that works in you. Pretty amazing.

  4. Angela

    Hello my long lost musical friend from Hamilton High School, Class of 1985! My prayers and best wishes go out to you…I hope you get this…I have often wondered about you over the course of what…23+ years now? Could it truly be that long? Anyway…I am grateful that all has gone well in the way of your health…thank goodness Beth has a way of keeping all of us in “touch” with prayers and such…and it is so good to know how blessed you are and how you are living what God had planned for you. Don’t even know if you remember me…but I wouldn’t have passed Seibert’s geometry class if it wasn’t for you…and for every reunion I always hope that maybe, just maybe, my friend Doug Ruhs might be there… Anyway…my best to you, your lovely wife Joni…I have enjoyed her blog immensely…and to your blessed family…you are most deserving. Best wishes to you and yours always…your friend, Angela (Short) French from Hamilton now from St. Louis, MO

  5. Lori Shurtleff

    Doug, you can do anything you set out to do. I, having grown up with you and spending countless hours in jr. high/hs band class with you, know you can.

    Your old friend, and {then} constant pain in the neck, Lori

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