Thirteen years ago Amy and I made the decision to resign from paid ministry in the local church. During the previous decade, I had worked at three congregations (one for only a year, another for eight, and the last for a little over a year). One was a small family congregation, the second was a growing suburban congregation, and the last was a large “mega-church”.
The decision to leave professional ministry wasn’t easy. Since giving my life to Christ, I had always felt a “call to ministry”. I loved the relational work of sharing lives, learning together, and working out what it means to follow Jesus with other people. I, like most who feel strongly about such a call, assumed that following it meant paid ministry in a church, as a missionary, or in a para-church organization. However, I now felt for the first time that God was calling me out of professional ministry. I wasn’t sure what it meant, or what I would do, but I was certain that resigning was what I was supposed to do. So, in a huge leap of faith, without another job, and in major change in my previously assumed direction in life, I resigned.