(2008) I heard that the pastor laughed when he found out that I was a bodybuilder. He was doing some research on me before he invited me to speak at his church. He saw videos of me working out and posing on bodybuilding stages. People laugh a lot at the idea of me doing bodybuilding and it can be discouraging. I know that some of it is out of respect but also out of  fear for what people might think of a guy whose Google Image Search is filled with half naked pictures. I’m trying to start my career as a minister but I worry people don’t take me seriously. I feel like people have issues with me being a bodybuilder and a minister. I first got this impression when I started doing youth ministry and the parents asked what my qualifications were. I was a UCSD student, just like all the other volunteers, but I felt that being an athlete gave people the impression that fitness was the only thing I was good at. I understand there is a stereotype that athletes don’t take education seriously and I believe that this hurt me when I was trying to start my career in ministry. I feel frustrated when people can’t see me as more than an athlete. I wear glasses partially because I feel it makes me look smarter. Going to seminary is also a huge expense, but it will be worth it if it means that people will take me seriously. I know that people want a certain mold for their ministers. Ministry is a high calling and responsibility. People’s souls are at stake, and churches want to screen every potential minister carefully to ensure that they are choosing the right person. But this process has often made me feel unwelcome. I don’t want to change who I am, and I hope that the church would want people to be who they are. Book excerpt – if you want a copy, please help me figure out how many physical copies to print by pre-ordering! Link in bio

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