Most of the time I can enter the title of a post before I begin to write it. In this case I don’t know what to call it. All I know to to do is start writing and let things fall into place.
That’s sort of where I am in life, right now; I don’t know where I am going, but I had to get going to find out.
By the time you read this post, someone in my former congregation will have read aloud my formal resignation as Pastor of Riverside Baptist Church – at least I hope they read it…all of it. It took me a couple of hours to craft it, all 1,026 words worth, and some of the words were painful to write. However, it had to be done.
In my resignation letter I focused on two main themes. First, it was important to note that the Church, including the local body of believers I pastored, did not belong to any of us; it belongs to Jesus Christ. Secondly, I stressed the importance of effective leadership: both the need to have it, and the willingness to accept it.
If either one is dysfunctional with either party (the pastor or the congregation), tension will grow…even worse, the power of the Holy Spirit will fade.
Therefore, based on several reasons, I had to accept the fact that my leadership was no longer effective, thereby necessitating a change, however painful and scary it may be. Unfortunately, it feels like a divorce (even though I’ve never experienced one). Maybe I could say it feels like a death, but that’s not really true – I have experience that kind of loss many times.
What it does feel like, however, is a missed opportunity…an “Oh, well” moment. I guess that’s why it’s called a “resignation.”
More to Do
Nevertheless, I will share with you the closing words of my resignation letter, for they express something that is more important than anything else – God is still sovereign! He’s got this! None of this caught Him by surprise, for He already has been working to make things new.
If you will remember, the Mission Statement of Riverside is as follows:
“Reach the Lost, Rescue the Perishing, and Restore the Wounded for the Glory of God.”
Continue to reach the lost… We will. Endeavor to rescue the perishing… We will. And especially today, seek to restore the wounded, heal divisions, and move forward with grace and forgiveness… We will.
Pray for Us
Please, please, pray for my family and me as we seek to follow God to the next field of service, wherever that may be. Please pray for my former flock that they will find a more suitable shepherd and follow his leading.
Also, please pray that I will be able to put in to practice the lessons I have learned over the last eight years, thereby being able to replace the “missed opportunity” feeling with assurance that all things work together for good, to them that love God and are called according to His purpose.
After all, there are still plenty of lost, perishing, and wounded out there.
Now I know how to title this post 🙂
7 responses to “Resigning to Trust My Shepherd”
May your surrender be blessed richly by our Shepherd, Anthony. May He fill your heart and mind with His inexhaustible grace and unconditional love, and may you accept it fully. May He guide your hands and feet as you move forward on your journey with Him. ❤
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
Reblogged this on a simple man of God and commented:
If you wish to know how to pray for one of my friends and Brother in Christ, here is Anthony’s plea. Please join me in lifting our Brother and his family up in the Lord, for guidance, wisdom, peace, and faith.
“…the importance of effective leadership: both the need to have it, and the willingness to accept it.” This is huge. Government in the body of Christ is so important, and yet…as human beings we don’t like to be governed. I think especially in America, we are so apt to “cast off restraint”, latch onto offense, and not submit to authority humbly and patiently. Unfortunately, it’s that very “restraint” that is holding us safely in place, like a seatbelt in a crash. I will be interested, dear brother, to see where God’s creative Spirit leads you and your dear family. You are not alone. Ever.
Praying for you and your family, including the Body of Believers that you lead.
As you walk this out with your family may God keep you in perfect peace. And when the tempest starts and the wind starts howling and it seems like a mistake remember the waves and the winds still know His name.
Prayers for you and your family Pastor Anthony!
Praying for you and the congregation next chapter…