No this is not an announcement that I’m quitting ministry or resigning from my church. This is a reflection about a decision I made just over six years ago. I resigned from the churches I was pastoring without another church to go to and no real intention of returning to pastoral ministry.
Three and half years ago I returned to ministry and am very happy as the pastor of Queen Street Baptist Church. However, I don’t regret the three year break I had in ministry. In fact I don’t think I would be doing what I am today without it.
Here are five reasons that I’m glad I quit pastoral ministry years ago.
- The life situation that pushed me in this direction was our daughter moving into a group home. Unfortunately her group home was a long way from where we were living and pastoring. We made the decision to move so that we could be closer and invest in our relationship with our daughter. I don’t regret putting family first.
- When I resigned from my churches, I had been there nine years. I loved those two churches but I was on the verge of burnout. I was not caring for myself and I was in a bad place. I don’t think I could have just transitioned to a different church.
- For part of my three year break, I worked for Faith Today magazine. It was a great experience and I worked for some amazing people. I was able to develop skills that I would never have otherwise have had the opportunity.
- In addition, I was able to work on my ministry skills. I was no longer a pastor of a congregation, but I did have the opportunity to preach at many different churches, as well as speaking at workshops/conferences and spending a significant amount of time teaching the Bible at a couple of schools.
- This break in ministry eventually strengthened my call to pastoral ministry. Even two years into the break, I was confident I wouldn’t ever be a pastor again. But circumstances in the third year reminded me that this was what I was supposed to do. This has given me the strength to be the pastor I am today.
If you want to read the rest of the story, check out my post HOW I WENT FROM AN EX-PASTOR TO AN EX-EX-PASTOR.