I recently resigned from the leadership team of a church plant I helped launch more than five years ago. I had been thinking about walking away for more than a year. I have many reasons chief of which include poor health that has kept me from active ministry for months (and will take many more months at least) and burnout from working two full-time jobs. However, I didn’t want to leave the ministry high and dry without a regular teacher so I stuck around. I prayed for help and God answered. A couple of the interns stepped up to help preach when I went down for one of my four surgeries and they show true promise. So, when a disagreement among the leadership arose about the direction of the ministry, I took it as a sign that it was past time for me to go.
It has been an amazing five years filled with a number of amazing memories. For example, when we launched Revolution, the only spot we could find to hold service was in an old high school gym that looked like a set from one of the Saw movies. Despite its poor condition, we were nearly kicked out for holding a baptismal service even though the whole place leaked and two engineers constructed a system to make sure we didn’t spill a drop of water on the floor. Yet, a few weeks after being threatened with eviction, we walked in one Sunday to find a tarp still laid from a circus that had used the place the day before. The tarp was littered with elephant poop and only the Lord knows what else. They were welcomed back the next year, so water from a baptistery is frowned upon but droppings from jungle beasts are just fine with our local school board!
We finally found a full-time location but had to share the building with a dance studio led by a former Playboy Playmate (how many church planters can make that claim). The building was an old JC Penny in a downtown area where a lot of people would just wander into a service off a street. One evening a guy who’d had a little too much to drink walked in, jumped up on stage and began playing a guitar. The song he played? “Feel Like Making Love.” The sad part about stopping him was he actually sounded good!
More importantly, the Gospel was preached clearly, people came to faith in Christ and they responded to this grace by feeding and clothing a lot of people in need. I wouldn’t trade the last five years for anything. But doctors, mentors and counselors have made it clear that I have to take it easy for a while (maybe a long while). I’ll still teach and preach regularly at a local church who has been good enough to help me pay the thousands of dollars of medical bills that continue to pile up. However, the long line of eighteen hour days of raising money for a ministry all day and then pulling one counseling session after another all evening before racing home to tell my wife and son goodnight before doing it all over again are over. I’m just not physically or mentally able to do it anymore. God is good though and He has given Revolution not one not two but several young guys with a lot of energy to step in to my place. So, the mission of Revolution, which is to bring the lost to worship, grow close to and serve the one true God, will continue.
Sola Dei Gloria