After sharing this news with my parents yesterday morning, I can now share it with my loyal readers and friends: I am finishing up my pastorate at Red Oak church the end of this month, and I have accepted a position managing a local Chick-fil-A, two minutes from my home.
For some of you who’ve not heard the news, this will come as something of a surprise, yea shock, to you, I have no doubt. I’d like to share a few things with you in bullet point fashion, and then we can go from there:
- I am leaving Red Oak on good terms, in case you’re wondering.
- I am personally doing quite well, actually. Quite well.
- I am extremely excited about taking the position with Chick-fil-A.
- I do not know when—or if—I’ll return to pastoral ministry.
- I am not leaving ministry. Period, end of story, over and out. I am merely not going to get paid for doing it for the foreseeable future.
- I am very excited, as a matter of fact, about a cutting-edge ministry venture that may materialize in the not-too-distant future. Stay tuned for details.
What this move will—and will not—mean for us:
- I won’t be getting rich anytime soon, though we should be able to do fine (I write this in case anybody is tempted to think that this decision is somehow financial. It isn’t.).
- We will be staying put in the ATL, about which we love most everything, and tolerate the traffic (most of the time).
- We have a significant number of friendships outside the church here in the ATL (and of course when we leave Red Oak, we’ll have more—since all our Red Oak friends will be outside the church!).
- Practically-Perfect Daughter should be able to finish high school here.
- We love our house, and we’ll be staying in it, we believe. Come see us.
- Working the shift I’ll be working will allow us to continue to be involved with community theater, something that has been a great joy these past 8 months.
- My hope is to be able to do some speaking, perhaps even some interim pastorate work, as well as developing, at long last, my Walk Thru the Bible ministry. I was born to do this; talk to your pastor about having Walk Thru in your church!
OK, that’s the straight skinny. If you have questions, feel free to comment, or to ask me in a private email. This is uncharted territory; I’ve been in some form of paid pastoral ministry, effectively continuously, since 1985, and that ends in three weeks. But God is good, and we’re eager to see how the next chapter of our lives unfolds. Pray for us during this transition as God lays us on your heart.