Church

PARTING IS SUCH SWEET SORROW

Tomorrow they are turning off the cable, which means I will have no internet, and the day after that I’ll be on the road to our new house so it will be a while before I can blog again, so I jolly well better do it now.

I have been intending to write for the last two weeks but honestly, I’ve been so busy with packing, cleaning, painting and transitional things that there literally has been no time.  Even here alone in the big empty house with only the idiot dog there have been too many dreadful things to do.  Its hard work prepping a house for a new owner.  But I am very thankful that the new owners are people we know and love, so this home will be filled with joy and peace.  That makes Mrs. Greenbean I very happy.

Now, to the topic at hand.  Two weeks ago I resigned my church, my beloved church of 14 years.  It was a very painful day.  You can hear my final words in the podcast for a full rationale, but here are some key reasons.

1.  We achieved all of the major goals I knew God called me hear to accomplish.

2.  I feel God is calling me to focus on my writing ministry full time.  It is impossible to pastor 60 hours a week and do this.

3.  The church no longer needs me.  If I thought it did, I would stay.  It doesn’t, so I must go.

4.  An important part of leadership is knowing the right time to exit.  The church is at peace, growing, and by every measurable marker healthy.  Only leave when things are good.  Never leave when things are bad.

5.  I have been here too long.  I can no longer see the changes that need to happen because I am a part of the system.

6.  The most important reason is my family and I feel that the time is right and that the Holy Spirit is moving us toward something new.  If we stayed, it would be an act of disobedience and control.  The church belongs to the Lord, not to me.

 

I knew that leaving would be hard, because I love First Baptist Church and have given so much of myself to her.  What I didn’t expect was that the sorrow would come in such intense waves.  My last Sunday (9 days ago) was very hard, but he hardest day was Thursday (5 days ago).  That is the day I cleaned out my office and turned in my keys and left the building for the last time as the church’s pastor.  That same day my wife left with a friend on the cross-country drive to meet the movers at our new home and that afternoon I sold my truck.  I know, I know, it sounds like a bad country and western song but in many ways I lost my job, my wife, and my truck all in the same day.  I was a mess all evening.

Periodically the sadness rolls upon me and drags me out into the surf of of salty  tears.  I don’t know if I will ever pastor again as I know The Lord has new adventures for me in different kinds of ministry, but I loved being a pastor, and I love FBCPO and so much of me is still emotionally connected to her.  There have been ups and downs over the years, but I don’t regret anything.  The future is exciting, but FBCPO is always a part of who I am and who I have become.

2 replies »

  1. Leaving is always “different”. So many emotions. Even knowing we are in God’s wil, it is hard. But you are unforgetable. I often wished that someday I would hear you were called to California to Pastor. But I must admit, God has given you a special way of expressing yourself on paper and you will glorify God in a mighty way with this talent. However, no matter how much you would fight it, I’ll keep on wishing I will hear you pastoring near me in Southern California some day. 🙂

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