Sunday, December 9, 2012

Pastoral Resignation

This morning I read a letter to the church I worked at and help start over the past three years. In that letter I announced my resignation from being a pastor. It was and has been a difficult time for me to process through much of the weight, emotions, frustrations, and worries that have come with and been a part of this decision – a decision that has been developing over the past six months.

In short it is time for me to rest.To remember the gospel which for the past six years of my life has been either a semi-professional or professional job for me. But the gospel isn’t a professional calling. No, it’s so much more and less than that. It’s more because it’s what doctors and lawyers and bankers and moms and dads and college students and grad students and nurses alike cling to for hope and joy and peace. And it’s less because it’s the simplicity of child like faith and awe; because its burden is easy and yoke is light; because it’s the symphony of grace and mercy. The gospel isn’t some ware to be pervade or sold; it is the treasure in the field for which we sell all out of joy.

Many sleepless nights and desperate cries to the darkness (and my steering wheel) have filled my life these past months. Talks with family, friends, a counselor, my doctor, and the elders as well as the impressing leading of God have brought me to this grueling decision. It hurts to – for this next season - lay down the pastoral role. Do I still feel a deep and abiding calling? No, I feel a deep and abiding passion for proclaiming the gospel. Callings are good, they give a sense of direction, but it’d be better put to feel a burning passion for the gospel rather than a call for ministry. While a call to vocational ministry is desired, before any of that who-haw can be true there must be a love for the gospel of grace of which I am a partaker and chiefly in need of. That though my sins be great, my God is greater. That while my treachery runs deep, His love runs deeper. That in the midst of loss Jesus is my comforter.

            Thus I am no longer a pastor at a church.


Travis Lane said...

"better put to feel a burning passion for the gospel rather than a call for ministry"

What a great insight.

May the gospel go with you.

Bryan Hannaford said...

May the Lord be with you

Anonymous said...

I stepped down almost 11/2 years ago. I too, went through the same difficult and lengthy process as you did. There was a time of grieving and seperation anxiety that followed. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I have reached more for Christ in the past year than I did in five years with a title, lots of hype, and a contrived ministry where nothing seemed real.