I know I haven’t been posting here much lately -it’s a sign of how busy I am. However, there’s some news in my life that deserves a post.
This past Sunday I made public my resignation as the Assistant Pastor at Waterloo Pentecostal Assembly. Effective May 31st, I’m transitioning from pastoring into doing web-development full-time. Followers of my blog already know that I’ve been doing web development on the side for a few years now. I’m going to be growing and expanding my business and plunging full in with this passion that I believe God has given me.
The good news is that we’re not moving from Waterloo and WPA remains our home church. I’m looking forward to transitioning from a full-time paid ministry position to a volunteer role helping in the areas that match who I am as a person and the gifts and abilities God has blessed me with.
Some people have asked me, “So how do you feel about this?” My short answer? AWESOME! My longer answer, “At peace that this is the right decision, excited for the changes this will bring, nervous about whether our financial needs will be met, but trusting God that He has a bigger plan and this is just a step towards fulfilling”.
For those who are interested, here is the text of the letter I read to the congregation this past Sunday:
Dear church family,
When I first went into ministry as a pastor, I fully believed it was where God was directing me at that stage in my life, and to this day do not doubt that God has been ordering my steps, nor that I’ve been failing to follow. There have been some incredibly fruitful years of pastoring where I learned much about being a leader, preaching, and teaching; and I know that all of these years have been preparation for what God wants to do in and through me in the future.
However, I have never really fully embraced Pastoring as a passion. I have done it because I believed God called me to pastor, and I’ve always wanted to be faithful to that call. In my heart of hearts though, I’ve always known that pastoring would not be a lifetime calling. Ministry? yes! However, ministry can take many forms and I’ve always been a strong communicator about God’s call to ministry in LIFE not necessarily what may be viewed as “full-time” ministry.
Over the past two years (really began much earlier but the last two years have brought things more into focus), I’ve become more fully aware of and embraced what IS my passion, and that is internet/web development. That is the practical outflow of my passion, but really I’ve always been passionate about using technology within the church to effectively reach today’s culture.
I still feel called to ministry but there has been a shift of my calling away from Pastoring full-time into something else that still hasn’t been fully revealed to me but involves what I am passionate about.
In early January I handed Pastor Marshall my resignation that will become effective May 31st.
Coming to this decision has been a long and difficult process with much time spent in prayer and seeking Gods direction. I do believe God called me into pastoring for a season and I’ve been faithful to that call (15+ years of pastoring). There have been many joys and sorrows, as it is with anything worthwhile doing and I’ve been impacted in incredible ways over those years, however, I’ve always known that this would not be a lifetime calling.
One of the things I’ve always taught and preached is my firm belief that sometimes we know the general direction God is taking us but we don’t know the final picture. Sometimes all He gives us is “what’s next”. That certainly is what happened for Ker and I when I resigned 4 years ago in Hanover (all we knew was our time was done but had no place to go) and it is certainly what is happening now here at WPA. We have found that when we’re faithful and obedient to what we’re certain God is showing us for what’s next, He is faithful in providing the direction for the future.
The “what’s next” that I am hearing for my family and I is to step into the area of where my passions are, which is the intersection of church and technology (specifically the internet) and I’m going to be volunteering here at WPA to help with our online internet and social media strategy. To support my family I’m going to be continuing to expand and grow the web development business I’ve been running in my spare time over the last two years. I don’t know what the long term destination is that God has for us but I do know this is what’s next 🙂 I also know that God is always at work in us to prepare us for His purpose and His plans and the destination isn’t as important as the process of getting there.
While I do feel released from my position as pastor here at WPA, neither Ker nor I feel released from ministry here and we are VERY excited to be able to stay and contribute our gifts and abilities as we continue to serve the Kingdom and belong to our church family. We love this church, we love this family, and we value and trust our leadership. We know that God is at work here at WPA and we’re thrilled that we are able to continue engaging in ministry here!
I’m a different person than I was when I first came to WPA (in a good way!) and many people in this room have had some part in that change.
I will be officially transitioning from my position as Assistant Pastor at the end of May and have purposely allowed more time for Pastor Marshall to find a person to fill my position here.
Pray with me as we lift up this search to our Lord!
Congratulations as you step and your family step out in faith. We are excited right along side of you as you begin this new adventure. We know that God has wonderful things instore for you and because you are faithful and obedient, He will bless you richly! God bless you and know that we will continue to lift you up in our prayers 🙂
Thanks guys! Appreciate your prayers 🙂
Darren – all the best to you guys as you follow God’s leading – look forward to having coffee with you next time I’m back… and we can talk about web design and Kingdom building. Blessings.
Thanks Jeremy! Would love to get together!
Darren – I just read your ‘resignation’ letter and am excited to see exactly what the future holds for you. I believe your best days are ahead – I’m not sure your age but I can tell you the ‘after 40’ years are great when you have the energy of your youth but the wisdom and insight that comes with experience. A ‘career’ change (especially when it involves pastoral ministry) can be daunting but the faith that we teach and preach kicks in and it’s an exciting ride!
May I say that you are excellent in written expression – another of your giftings. God bless you in all that you do!
Thanks for the kind words Elizabeth!