Wineskins Archive

January 20, 2014

Choosing Between Law and Love (Mar – Apr 2009)

Filed under: — @ 7:26 pm and

Am I called? Or am I fleeing? Is it holy discontent? Or am I running from Nineveh?

I’ve been a trial lawyer since 1992 after a one year judicial clerkship after law school. Before that I obtained a Missions degree from Abilene Christian University then ministered at a church in Juneau Alaska. In Alaska I had begun to fear that I didn’t fit in Churches of Christ, so that’s why I went to law school. However, throughout law school I continued to preach and have continuously ever since. Just after moving my family to Hurricane, WV for a job as a state-wide prosecuting attorney, the minister there moved to Texas, so I was asked to fill the pulpit. This was originally meant as temporary measure while a preacher was found, but I preached there for six years while still practicing law. I felt ready to be back in full time ministry, so I left the law and moved to Russellville, Kentucky where after a short full-time stint, the tractor beam of the law pulled me in once again. But I am dissatisfied because my deepest desire is to minister full-time. Is this a holy discontent?

I must face the possibility that God does not want me in full time ministry and that the law profession is my Nineveh. As a lawyer, I have had decent success and recognition, even receiving a “Distinguished Alumni” Citation from ACU for my work with abused kids. I have spoken nationally at law enforcement training events. I have had success in trials. Nevertheless, it all leaves me empty. I want to preach to a missional church that recognizes Brian McLaren, Tony Campolo, Jim Wallis, F.F. Bruce, Rob Bell, Lee Camp, and St. Benedict. I want to be at a place where Democrats are as welcome as Republicans, but where Kingdom is the discussion and the passion, not patriotism and moralism.

I know that I will be a Christian wherever I am, so maybe God wants me in the legal profession. Am I like Jonah fleeing from the ministry God has called me to? Or is God holding me back for the right group of disciples at the right time? Am I facing obstacles to be overcome or am I banging my head against a divine roadblock? Your response will help me decide.

Having said that, I must admit that I need quick responses because there are new law positions that I can’t stiff-arm forever. Could you free me to preach, teach, and write while I free you to serve, love and shepherd?

Grace & Peace,
Stephen Kenney

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