It's been about three years since I resigned from being a salaried pastor at an institutional church. The following is the post I wrote announcing my resignation:
I'm not sure how else to say this, so here it is: I've resigned from professional pastoring.
After much study of scripture, prayer, discussions with some of my friends, and reading good books, I have come to the conclusion that I can no longer in good conscience remain a salaried pastor. I cannot find it anywhere in the bible, so I'm not going to do it.
Last Wednesday evening I informed the sweet people of Chevis Oaks Baptist Church that I will be resigning as pastor. I'm so thankful for their reaction. Some churches may have lashed out, but the Chevis Oaks family just hugged Alice and me and also cried a bit. The church is saddened but seems to understand my convictions.
I'll be staying on here at Chevis Oaks until sometime in October to help with the transition. Some folks would suggest that I try to remain as an unpaid pastor, but that is not the consensus of the church. Additionally, Alice and I believe that God is leading us into simple church life.
I really do have an amazing wife. To all you married men who read this blog, please don't take offense at this, but in my humble opinion your wives are all competing for second place. I'm leaving Chevis Oaks with no idea what my next job will be. Despite this uncertainty, Alice has been nothing but supportive. Our kids (Caroline, Mary, and Bobby) have also been terrific about it.
As for the decision (not LeBron's, but mine), it came down to a conviction about the sufficiency of scripture and what God desires for His church. I now believe that what we see in the New Testament is not only descriptive, but also prescriptive. We should live the church life as we see it in the pages of scripture.
I realize that many solid, bible-believing Christian people disagree with me on this issue. Maybe even you disagree. That's O.K. We're still brothers and sisters in Christ. I'm not becoming dogmatic on this issue. I'm not suggesting that all salaried pastors are being sinful or that institutional churches are not real churches. I do not want to be divisive, but do need to follow my convictions.
Alice and I are excited about embracing simple church life. We feel led by God to plant a church in our home within the next few months. We don't know exactly what this will look like, but we want to try to follow the scriptural model (see, for example, Acts 2-4 and I Corinthians 11-14) as closely as we can. I know that house church life is not utopia. It is very real and personal. It can be very difficult. However, it can also be extremely rewarding and edifying. If you want to read a great book on this topic, buy this one.
Please let me apologize to any of you who I know personally but haven't yet talked to directly about this. My Facebook page has been on the blink for the last few weeks, so this is the most public way to make this known. I'm trying to gradually call people via phone but this takes time.
I do have one request: please pray. Pray that God will bless Chevis Oaks Baptist Church as they search for a new pastor. Please also pray for me and my family as we go through this transition. We're trying not to worry about my utter lack of a job, but that can be difficult at times.
Please also pray for this new house church. We want God's direction and blessings upon it. God has already brought people into our lives who are interested in it. They are Christians, but are struggling with church life. They also desire to follow the biblical model.
(To read more about the resignation journey click here.)