Thoughts on Resigning/Retiring

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by dh1948, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. dh1948

    dh1948
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    I am considering resigning from my current church and retiring from being a full-time pastor. My decision is not imminent, but it is one that I will make over the next several months.

    Stuff happens from time to time that causes me to think that the time has come. I look at my congregation that is composed mostly of young couples. Often I wonder if they would be happier with a younger pastor who is more creative than me and is more in tune with their culture.

    Like all of you pastors, I have my enemies in the church. That's disheartening. You minister to people during the best years of your life...you marry them, see their kids born, lead their kids to the Lord, minister to them during times of sickness and death, walk with them through the difficulties of their lives. Then you become a target of their attacks. Do I sound like I am having a pity party? Humor me. lol.

    I am thinking of two deacons in particular. Both are retired and have had a pretty easy life over the past quarter of a century. Both of them seem to be hell-bent on forcing me out. They site no reason except that it is time for me to go. It's not always how many oppose you, but a matter of who they are. Both of these men are influential and respected in the church. They present a public demeanor of being so spiritual. I am afraid that spiritually, they are far below what they portray publicly.

    How do you determine who is working through these men and their types? Is God using them to lead me into resignation and retirement? Or, is the devil using them to try to force me to do something that God is not ready for me to do? I am not having an easy time discerning which is true.

    I am not one to flee opposition. I have been about this pastoral business for decades, so I am not exactly the new kid on the block. Yet, I want to be sensitive to God's leading. If all of this "stuff" is God's way of saying to step aside, I want to do that. If it is the devil's doings, I want to endure the pressures.

    So, what say ye?
     
  2. gb93433

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    Satan always has his workers who cause you to pray.
     
  3. exscentric

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    PITY PARTY, PITY PARTY, PITY PARTY :laugh: JOKE!!!!!

    Now that out of the way if you are retirement age and you want to do it. If you think God is leading you go for it. If you are going to succomb to the wiles of the devil, don't ya dare :tongue3:

    I'd "try" to put the deacons out of mind and rely on other more "godly" indicators though I am sure the deacons are hard to ignore.

    My first thought about young couples wanting younger pastor -- if they are still in your church I'd guess you are adequate to their needs. In my mind there aren't too many youngins that can preach worth a hoot anyway.

    Does your constitution allow for a vote of confidence? If so you might consider it but be ready for the outcome if it be negative.

    You might want to speak with others that have "retired." Unless you are different than most retirment isn't all that great, most get back busy one way or another or else they sit, get depressed and waste away which is such a terrible waste.

    A friend of mine called - similar situation to yours, he is thinking of finding a small church somewhere that needs some help and pastor for a few more years in a small work where he might be appreciated :laugh:

    Just some thoughts to blow through your brain quickly.
     
  4. annsni

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    Our senior pastor had a group of people who wanted him out. There was a special meeting to vote him out and he showed up. He told them that there was only one person who could get him to leave the church and that was God and he didn't feel God telling him to leave just yet. He squeaked by with a majority vote to keep him and he stayed even though almost half of the congregation wanted him out.

    That was in 1971 and he's still pastoring our church.

    I'd not listen to the two men and honestly, if it's just the two men who were causing issues, I'd address it biblically as per Matthew 18. It may have to be that if they are in the minority and others feel that they are wrong too that you will have to have those two deacons leave the church.

    But if you are feeling the need to step down, you may want to look into what CJ Mahaney and Josh Harris did at their church. CJ stepped down and gave the church to Josh and now CJ is mentoring Josh and also doing additional ministry that he was not able to do before.

    I don't think older pastors should not ever get out of ministry because of the wealth of help and advice that they can give to the younger ministers. Find someone to mentor and who you can feed into to continue the work of the gospel.
     
  5. Tom Bryant

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    Don't leave because someone is forcing you out. If God is leading you, He will speak to you and not to others, especially those who are rebelling against biblical pastoral authority.

    These young couples have come to the church because of how God is using you. It may not be the younger couples who want a younger guy. It may be that these guys do not like the younger couples who are threatening their control.

    I know exscentric suggested a vote of confidence. And maybe sometimes that advice is good, but it has been my experience that no matter how the vote comes out, you've lost. These guys will not quit talking and trying to force you out just because they lose a vote. That is just not the "baptist way".

    Endure the pressures until God says, "It's MY time for you to leave." Prayand keep doing what you know is God's will for you to do.
     
  6. Woodymdt

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    After reading your post, it would probably be wise to resign as pastor.
     
  7. Crucified in Christ

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    I think that you sound like your in a bit of a slump...as you know these valleys are common to Pastors. The thing to do is never resign when you are feeling low. If it is the Lord's will for you to move on, you will know it even when you are feeling very positive.
    Also, I like what annsni said about her pastor. While Baptists are congregationalists, the Lord still has His pastors in His hands. I would never resign simply because there is a handful in opposition; as a leader, when will you ever have a situation without opposition?
    As for the two deacons, I have experienced this sort of opposition first-hand; people who can talk and act spiritually for the crowd, but behind closed doors they reveal their true character. In my experience, I would recommend that you keep serving the Lord where He has placed you. The true character of your opposition will eventually reveal itself (I have seen this happen so many times). Their goal is to get you to resign because they do not have the support to force you out. Keep being humble, serve the Lord and let Him handle the rest.
    Lastly, as to your question about whether God is using these men to speak to you...do they seem like the sort of men that would be seeking God and listening to His voice? From the way you have described them, I doubt it. In my own experience, such people go on to prove themselves very unspiritual.
    Hope this helps and you are in my prayers.
     
  8. dh1948

    dh1948
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    I thank all of you for your responses. I agree with most of what has been said. It is always helpful to have others as sounding boards. In a multitude of counselors there is wisdom.

    I do have two negative comments. First, regarding the vote of confidence issue. I have always felt that if a pastor is in a situation where he feels the need to call for a vote of confidence, he has already compromised his leadership and probably should resign. I am not going to do that.

    Second, I am not going to resign as has been suggested by one poster. I am not one to quit as long as there is a glimmer of hope.

    Again, thanks to everyone. I needed that!
     
  9. exscentric

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    "regarding the vote of confidence issue. I have always felt that if a pastor is in a situation where he feels the need to call for a vote of confidence, he has already compromised his leadership and probably should resign."

    If you only have the two detracters it might give them a clue was the thought. Some pastors are required to go through one yearly by their constitution. Gives you that nice secure feeling --NOT!
     
  10. Woodymdt

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    If you don't resign then it's hopeful that your ministry flourishes.

    I did not mean to be disrespectful, but what led to my opinion was your posting hearsay and gossip against members of your congregation. I've always thought that folks, especially pastors should refrain from things like that.

    But, that's only one opinion among many! :smilewinkgrin:
     
    #10 Woodymdt, Apr 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2010
  11. dh1948

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    In all due respect to you, I did not post any "hearsay" against my members. As to gossip, I am not sure what I posted should be construed as gossip. If it is, perhaps all of us should stop posting details about what goes on in our churches. One man's opinion.
     
  12. SaggyWoman

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    DH 1948;

    I hope you do not resign just because of the deacon freaks. When I was on church staff, I had a few demon members who seemed to always want to embitter my soul. If not them, then someone else.

    Don't let you age be a determining factor either.... draw in other staff/members who help to balance you out and wherever your 'weakness' is.

    When and if you resign/retire, do it because it is the next step in your walk with God.
     
  13. abcgrad94

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    Sorry, but I completely disagree with this assumption. A pastor must listen to everyone else's problems, encourage, counsel, and patiently instruct, yet we cannot offer him the same in return without judging him and condemning him? Pastors are human just like everybody else--the only difference is they are expected never to get discouraged, disappointed, or listened to when THEY need encouragement.

    There are precious few outlets where we in ministry can safely release what's on our hearts. There are few who care to LISTEN and encourage. That's what this part of the forum is for, and we need to KEEP it that way, brother, without causing further discouragement to those brave enough to post here.
     
  14. windcatcher

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    I agree with both your points.
    Be praying for you that God will give you confidence and confirmation and direct you in His will.
     
  15. SaggyWoman

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    I would not ask for a vote of confidence.
     

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