Monday, February 13, 2006

Go West Young Man

Well, those of you who thought I would be a terrible pastor can throw your hands up in celebration. I am leaving seminary. Basically, it just wasn’t a good fit. In the words of Donald Miller, “It [is] hard for me to go to church without getting angry…” (Blue Like Jazz, p. 133) While some would argue that makes me the perfect candidate to become a pastor, I would disagree.

Withdrawing from my classes at Bethel Seminary was one of the most freeing experiences of my life. That is not meant as a dig at Bethel. It’s a great place with some amazing professors who have all challenged me, my faith, and my worldview. It was just time to move.

It’s amazing what happens when you’re willing to let go of things. Since I made the decision to move on, my wife began talking to an old boss of hers who had relocated to Portland, Oregon. To make a long story short, before you know it, my wife is getting an amazing job offer in Portland. (My wife works in public relations and is damn good at what she does.)

Some people would be scared to uproot and move their lives to the West Coast, to a city where we know one family. We’re not. Ok, we’re scared, but I think we both need this. I needed a fresh start. I was going to be looking for a full-time job, and Portland is just as good a place as Minneapolis to find that start. And my wife hates the long Minnesota winters more than I do.

So lookout West Coast, here I come. If you live in the greater Portland metro area and you want to 1) be my friend 2) be my therapist 3) tell me about your church or 4) offer me a job, shoot me an e-mail.


epicycle said...

I've enjoyed your blog over these many months. You've brought a lot of laughter into my life. I enjoy your style. An your faith. And caring for the world.

Don't give any of these up when you move.

Best of luck!

kate said...

Let's face it, Ben--you guys are moving to Oregon JUST so you could title a blog post "Go West Young Man."

I owe your wife an email on this topic, which I'll hopefully get to today. We have some similar career changes of our own quickly approaching and I'm eager to commisserate.

Ben said...


You know me too well. Go West Young Man was my first cassette tape ever, and I wore it out. I can't believe I'm admitting that in public.

And yes, please let us know where life is taking you. You could join our old friend Joanna as she moves to Portland in June. We could have a little Taylor University-West community. We'll buy an old apartment building and live as one big happy (disfunctional) family. You call the Hinkle/Jones family, and I'll try to find Jonah Aterbury. We should get Loretta in on this too.

This is going to kick ass.


p.s. Can we get a dog?

mdog said...

good luck with the moving and all. i drop in here once in awhile and am always amused and challenged.

i have friends that moved to portland almost a year ago; as it turns out, they've ended up at donald miller's church. maybe that will be a good fit for you... even if it sounds predictable.


Jim said...

Oh man! Bummer. Though, who am I to talk, having recently left a 13 year career in ministry. I thought you would make a great pastor based solely on what you've written here.

But hey, God bless you richly. I hope your new thing does indeed kick ass.

Will you still blog? If so, I'll read.

Captainwow said...

Sounds great all the way around. Best of everything to you and your wife.
keep blogging.

Bad Alice said...

Hey, doesn't Donald Miller live in Portland? Now there's a connection.

Eric Davis said...

Good Luck B&N!

w. keillor said...


As you go west, the song says, you will find "a heart that's golden." I think it safe, in your case, to assume that you will find that golden heart beating inside you. Also, we are told, the evil have gone east. I believe this may refer to the U.S.S.R. Do not give them your golden heart.

Hope your move goes smoothly.


Chalupa said...

Good luck on the move and new jobs! You'll always be my angsty duck PJ

cara said...

although as you say "portland is one of the most unchurched areas" i think you will find a plethora of churches to satisfy your churchy needs. but when it comes to books, nothing satisfies like powell's bookstore. that place is quite near to heaven. and as one ex-christian bookstore employee to another, portland has it's very own chain Christian Supply Stores..."for the goodness in your life." seriously, when i worked there that was our slogan. i haven't lived in the portland area for going on 9 years now, but have lots of friends and family in the area and if i can be of any help, send me an email. i know i am biased, but i think you guys will really like portland.

Aaron said...

Blogrolled! I get ya man. I know exactly where you're at. Or a close approximation thereof.

Sounds like you're going through a huge transformation process, it seems, and I think it will all be for the better.

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