Renovation Church Family,
After a year of wrestling with God in prayer, seeking wisdom through professional counseling, discussions with my wife, and processing events alongside of our Elders – I am stepping down from pastoral ministry for a season of healing, rest, and maturity. After meeting with a professional therapist, I have recognized bitterness, anger, and wounds in my heart from the past year. I have self-medicated through workaholism – working on average 70 – 80-hour weeks between my full-time job, ministry, and schooling.
One of the passages the Holy Spirit has brought to my attention is Jesus’ words to the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2. Although they gave the appearance of spiritual maturity, he rebukes them by saying they “have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.” After almost 10 years of vocational ministry, I have become too busy doing things for Jesus and need a season of simply being with Jesus as a member of a church (rather than the one leading a church). I will be taking a few years away from ministry to walk in repentance and rekindle my love for Jesus.
Practically speaking, here is our plan to move forward:
- This Sunday, we will be meeting at Tucker’s Walk at 10am for a church-wide discussion and a time for me to answer your questions. We will also process the viability and future of Renovation Church apart from my role as the Lead Pastor (NOTE: We are NOT meeting at Split Rock Park this Sunday).
- Please know that this decision is firm. At this point of time, continuing in ministry would be disobedient to the direction I believe God is calling me to take in my discipleship journey with Him.
- I have shared with the Elders that I am willing to continue in my role until September 1st. I do not know what future Sundays after this weekend will look like – that is a decision those who attend Renovation Church will need to make alongside of our Elder team.
- All of us are called to love God and love people through the various seasons God has placed us in – I will continue this form of ministry by loving my family well, serving at Southeast Tech, and volunteering in Garretson.
- I will become a member of another local church in our area. It is exceedingly dangerous to remove oneself from the protection and accountability of church membership.
- I recognize God has given me a special gift in my ability to teach the Bible. I fully believe God will call me back to some form of vocational ministry, but I need a few years away from ministry so that my heart is right before Him first.