An Update on My Non-Pastoral Life

It’s been six months since I resigned from being a pastor. I have enjoyed it! We began attending a new church back in December and I have enjoyed not being in charge of it!

I have long desired to simply go to church and be edified, to not have to do anything for a while. To sit and take it in. To be friendly to people simply from being friendly not out of professional duty. To go home afterwards and not beat myself up the rest of the day for all the poor encounters, or things I forgot to say in my sermon, or dumb stuff I did say.

It’s been magical! I have felt no burden in relationship to church for the first time in 21 years.

Several weeks after attending our new church I met with the pastor. I knew him before, we are pretty close doctrinally, which is why I went to his church.

In the course of our meeting he asked me if I would ever be willing to preach for him if illness or other things popped up.

I know how nice it is to have people who can fill in for you, even if they never do, it’s nice to know they could. Gives a pastor some relief to know being gone is ok. I said, “sure.” Why not? What are the odds?

Well, the odds were pretty good.

Our pastor is in the hospital in pretty rough shape. He has several physical conditions that are acting up, some of which were kicked off by a bout with Covid.

Even after he recovers he will need heart surgery. He’s going to be out quite a while. I preached last Sunday for the first time there. The board is now asking to meet with me next week to set up a long term arrangement to fill in.

Part of me is sad because I feel for my pastor. He’s a good guy. He’s going through a lot and it’s putting his family through a lot. This is no fun for any of them.

Part of me is scared because when I resigned I told my wife I would never pastor again unless it fell into my lap. Not that I’m going to be the pastor there, but I’m getting drawn back in. A pastoral role of one sort or another appears to be falling in my lap. This terrifies me.

Part of me is excited because I love preaching. I also told my wife that even if I were never a pastor again, I would be involved in a church and I’d love to preach some. I’m surprised it happened this quickly, but I look forward to the opportunity to proclaim God’s word.

I’m endeavoring to not make this all about me. Our pastor and our church are hurting. This is a thing I can do to help both. I want to do my best before the Lord in this opportunity.

This is not how I saw things going, nor would it ever be how I’d want things to go. But it is how it’s gone and here I am. I’d appreciate your prayers in figuring out how to handle all of this.

3 thoughts on “An Update on My Non-Pastoral Life

  1. I seriously wonder if this pattern is a reflection of Romans 11:29, “God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.” I’ve never personally seen a preacher successfully step down and stay down. I’m sure it’s happened, but every one I’ve ever seen step aside has soon found himself right back in the mix in short order. Just a thought. Praying for you!

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