For the next couple of days I would like to look at the process of resignation for the pastor and the questions that arise when he resigns.
Sunday morning I tendered my resignation and it shocked our congregation. Why did it shock them? Because we are not experiencing problems in the church. There is a great support for the ministry of our church. Now there are always small things but nothing that would cause a resignation. On top of that there is unity within the body. The church is experiencing growth. Not tremendous growth but steady growth. We just hired a youth pastor and the youth group is growing. So why resign?
Here is my philosophy. I would rather go out on top, rather than in decline. I have taken churches where the pastor did not leave much for an incoming pastor. Either there was a rift in the body or a long-term decline. I would rather leave a church when the church is more appealing to a pastor. Not to mention, I believe that if we begin to lose our effectiveness we should consider the question, “Is my time up?” We do not like to look at that question because it is often a harsh evaluation. Furthermore, it might mean we have to leave a place of comfort and familiarity to launch into uncharted waters, but we must do what is best for the church, not just what is best for ourselves.
So back to the original question, why did I resign? I honestly believe that God is leading me to a new place of ministry. I sensed within my spirit in August that my time was winding down in Nederland and that a transition was coming. I am losing my effectiveness in the church and I believe that God has already prepared the heart of my successor. Churches do not like to think of this especially if they like the pastor they have. But if God has someone else to carry the church to the next level then these things must play out. I resigned because I believe it is God’s will.
It was one of the hardest decisions that I have ever made because of the comfort I have here. My family is close by, now it will be an eleven hour drive from them. I have a routine. I have a great love for our church family and from our church family. We have been truly blessed, but God’s will must be followed. I intend to follow Him where He leads. That place is Rogers First Assembly in Rogers Arkansas.