It always broke my heart when I would read stories of how a pastor had a bad experience at a church and quit ministry out of anger, pain and frustration. I would hear those stories and would wonder how someone could give up ministry if God called them to ministry. A bad experience at a church cannot change that call.
And here I am as an ex-pastor, having just announced on my other blog that I am now the associate editor of Faith Today. I need to make some things clear here. I am not a burned out pastor who is settling for a non-church job to recover from my bad experience. I pastored Woodford and First Baptist Church Meaford for nine years and had a fantastic time. The people were awesome and I saw some great things take place there. It is true that I do not regret being out of pastoral ministry, but it is not because of a bad experience.
My decision to move from being a pastor to an editor is not an escape but an evolution of my ministry. Ever since I first felt God call me to ministry back in 1994 in London, England during an Operation Mobilization mission, I have seen that ministry shifting and changing. That is not disappointing but is exciting. Change is good. God has been developing me and shaping me. I have become more aware of my skills and I have discovered new ways to serve.
I still think it is sad when I hear about a pastor abandoning the ministry. But as an ex-pastor (I have no idea if I will ever be on staff at a church again), I am happy with how my ministry has developed. I look forward to working at Faith Today and I encourage you to check out the magazine and watch for the exciting things that will take place.