It’s been a year and a month since I resigned from being a pastor.
I wasn’t sure how I would do outside “the ministry” since I’ve been doing it since leaving seminary in 1999.
I gotta be honest: I’m doing just fine!
I had questions about what I would do if I weren’t a pastor: Would I still go to church? Would I be able to listen to sermons? Will I love people and serve them now that I don’t get paid to do so? How will I make money?
I’m still working on that last one. We’re doing fine, haven’t exhausted our options, but it is challenging.
I do go to church. I even go to Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting. Thank you. From being a pastor I have seen how important church attendance and being part of a body of believers is to spiritual growth. Bad things happen to people when they isolate themselves from Christian fellowship. I need church.
I can listen to sermons. Yeah, it’s tough sometimes. I would have said things differently. My style is what I enjoy listening to and not everyone has my style, but that’s my problem. My style isn’t the only one. I also know how it feels to preach and get responses. I’ve relaxed tremendously.
Pretty sure I still love people and serve. I don’t get as many opportunities now that I’m not a pastor. It’s one of the things I miss. People used to call me for help. Now no one calls me for any reason. But I still make myself available and look for opportunities. The new church I’m a part of is still learning who I am and I’m still learning who they are. It takes me awhile to make friends (see my 21 years of being a pastor for why that is). But we’re warming up. I have a desire to be helpful.
It has been my honor and privilege to preach a handful of times this past year when our pastor had a medical condition that sidelined him. That was cool for me. I got to preach and didn’t have to worry about all the pastoral angles in play! That was fun. Almost too fun, but I think I kept myself in check!
The church I resigned from has done some things that have confirmed my decision to leave, which was nice, if not disappointing. I’m still in contact with some of them and continue our friendships.
All in all, life goes on as does my faith. It’s nice to know my faith continues while not being a pastor. I figured that was the case but sometimes a guy gets to wondering! It’s even crossed my mind that I could be a pastor again. Wasn’t sure that would happen! Somewhat shocking to me and somewhat disappointing to my wife.
Going into this new church and my new role in it, I’ve tried to be more positive in my head. I have a negative, pessimistic bent and it did not help my pastoral career. I want to battle that and be in this church better. Forget those things that are behind and press forward.
That being said, my whole shtick here on The Failing Pastor is to be pessimistic and negative. That’s how my humor works. So I’m debating what to do with this stuff. From the feedback I’ve received, several pastors find my experiences helpful. I hope that is the case. I want to help.
I also want to be more positive about church and the pastor role. It’s easier doing that when I’m not in it! But it’s also not as funny to me! I will survive.
So, that’s what’s been going on. Thanks for reading. I’m honored that you’re interested!
12 thoughts on “It’s Been a Year Since I Resigned from Being a Pastor.”
It is hard to believe it has been a year.. I have found many if you entries not only entertaining at times; but also, informative, thought provoking & enlightening.
I always look forward to your entries.
thank you, I appreciate that.
It’s always nice to read your posts. Acually, I missed them. As a young man who is struggles with the idea that I am very probably going to become a pastor in the future, I find your posts very helpful.
It’s a brutal calling but if you have to, you have to. Know the Word and learn to pray!
I’m so grateful for this article and can’t commend you enough. One of the challenges in my 30 pastoral journey is how many former church leaders whom I was privileged to serve….although it was hard. Because of the pain of thier journey, they became the very congregants that contributed to thier leaving church leadership. Even though it was unintentional and an expression of thier woundedness, they didn’t give themselves to the ministry of the body that could have healed them.
Thank you for your humility and value for the Body. I pray that this continues to be a time of grace and peace for you.
I pray that I have learned my lessons from my past experience as a pastor. I know I’ve been humbled and/or humiliated. My desire all along has been to edify the Body of Christ. I hope to do so in whatever role in the church I am in. I do not want to be annoying and disruptive to a church.
Always enjoy and learn from your posts- Thanks. I’m a second career pastor and only have been at it 5 years, still at my the first church I was called to. Take care and know you are in my prayers, at least once a week if not more.
Thank you, sir. I appreciate them and need them.
I just happened to stumble across this and it resonates with my experience. It’s been 2.5 years since I resigned after almost 20 years of ministry. I can honestly say I’m happier than I’ve been in years. I’m now on a path of recovery and discovery of what church should be. By the way, love your humor and concept. Looking forward to reading more.
Thank you, sir.
you skipped the money part.
no, but really, these posts are good. i read them all. your humor is so funny. but you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself (even though I know it’s part of the humor). you have every right to be confident in what you’re good at.