After twenty-seven years on the staffs of three churches, one medium, one big and one small, I quit today. No, not out of frustration though there were those difficult moments over the years. No, not because I was fired, though there were times some hoped that would happen. And no, not because I don’t believe in the church and its importance in making disciples.
Jesus seemed to say that while He is the hope of the world, the church is plan A, B, C and D for sharing that hope, making disciples by living like one and sharing the Good News as clearly as possible.
I quit today because it’s time to move on. It’s time to try some new ventures that will give us more time with our family and use our experience and gifts to help others.
You see there are several concepts that are being neglected a bit in the Christian community and I at least want to help stem that tide. What’s missing?
Young leaders in the church need mentors who’ve been up the road before them. There are a ton of quality, committed, staff members working in thriving churches. But many of them don’t know how to handle or avoid a crisis. They’re often not sure what to do when a fellow leader, board member or community relationship blows up.
So they make dumb mistakes that could have been avoided if they simply had a seasoned veteran to talk to.
Couples, parents and families need more wise counselors and coaches. There are few manuals or training books for the home. Churches need some help providing practical, usable and accessible assistance. Couples are far more likely to have a lifelong marriage if they can just find some training before their wedding day. Having been married nearly four decades and counseled hundreds of couples, I know I can help them head off the common marriage killers that stop many relationships in their tracks.
Churches often don’t have a clue why they exist. Their leaders have never actually talked about what they believe God has called them to do, how they’re going to do it and what make them unique from other churches. So when it’s all said and done, they try to do everything or spend a significant amount of time arguing about it.
If someone could just walk them through a process to think about where they’re going they could save a lot of time, effort and God’s money.
So, I’m quitting my role as a formal staff member but excited about doing what I can to keep helping the church, the messenger of God’s hope, be all it was intended to be. I guess I’ll still be a pastor, a shepherd of the flock, just doing it a little different way. I know I’ve met some wonderful people and look forward to meeting more.
I know I’ll still run into challenges and maybe want to even join a staff again. I’m confident that God use me to make a difference. I heard that again today. But for now I plan to enjoy something new. And I’d sure value your prayers.