This morning I made a difficult announcement to the church I serve regarding a significant transition on the immediate horizon. Below, I am posting the full text of the letter that was shared for anyone who might be interested in knowing about these changes.
March 4, 2018
Dear Church Family,
For the past eight years, it has been an honor to serve alongside you in the work of the gospel at Kossuth Street Baptist Church. In more ways than I could possibly count, God has used you to bless, encourage, and love me and my family. This season of life has truly been one of extravagant and undeserved kindness. My gratitude runs deeper than my words can adequately express.
It is with great sadness, therefore, that I am writing to inform you that I have submitted my formal resignation and will be stepping down as one of your pastors. This decision has been a difficult and unexpected one. But after searching my own heart, seeking God in prayer, listening to the perspectives of those who know me well, and interacting with the other elders, I have come to accept that this is the right thing to do.
The pastoral vocation is a unique calling with weighty requirements for those who undertake it. In addition to the familiar character qualifications outlined in Scripture, there are also the more subjective, intangible considerations that directly affect a pastor’s ability to shepherd a local congregation well. Among these is the notion of theological, philosophical, and cultural alignment. Without this sense of overall fit, one’s effectiveness in the pastoral role can be greatly hindered.
In our leadership structure at Kossuth, this consideration is especially important. For the last three years I have served as one of two Pastors of Vision sharing the responsibility of institutional oversight and direction, and I have served as one of seven elders jointly entrusted with shepherding the entire church as a team. In a leadership environment such as this, alignment is vital for the effectiveness of the leaders themselves and for the health of the church as a whole. Recently, however, a number of factors have led me to the realization that in both of these leadership contexts, the level of alignment between myself and other pastors is simply not what it needs to be. In light of that, I have reached the point where I believe that stepping down from my role at Kossuth is necessary for my own vocational integrity and best for the other leaders of this church. Although I still love Kossuth and each of you who make it what it is, I acknowledge that I am no longer able to offer the leadership that would be required to serve this church faithfully into the future.
During this transition, our family would appreciate your prayers. The elders have determined that next Sunday, March 11, will be my final sermon, but beyond that, we are still seeking to discern what God has next for us. Although we look forward to a time of healing and rest as a family, we are equally eager to embrace new opportunities to serve the kingdom, love others, seek justice, and glorify God. This chapter may be coming to a close, but the Author of our story has plenty left to write.
To each person who has called Kossuth home, I want you to know that it has been a privilege to be one of your pastors. I have carried out this duty imperfectly and with no shortage of mistakes. But to stand before you each Sunday morning with a Bible in hand has been an incredible honor. I continue to care deeply about this church and the community in which God has placed it, and I pray that Kossuth’s best days are still ahead. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your family.
With deep gratitude,
This has been a season of grief, disappointment, and uncertainty for me and my family. But because I believe in a God who guides our steps and works all things for our good, there is plenty of assurance, anticipation, and hope as well. It is never easy to accept the loss of a vocation, a community, and a dream. But in the words of Walter Brueggemann: “The riddle and insight of biblical faith is the awareness that only anguish leads to life, only grieving leads to joy, and only embraced endings permit new beginnings.”