Dear Calvary Monroe
This is a heavily abbreviated version of the letter I originally penned to my fellow elders at Calvary Monroe. The congregation received this version. If you know me personally and would like a copy of the original full length letter, please get in touch. I'd be happy to share it as a resource / example of how to gracefully, respectfully and biblically step down from a ministry office.
Dear Calvary Monroe Family,
For the better part of the last year, Elise and I have been in a time of personal assessment. Though we have been focusing on areas common to many families, as the one uniquely called by God to lead and set the pace for my family (Eph. 5:22-33), I have individually been investigating and seeking answers for two important questions related to my current role as a pastor/elder at Calvary Monroe:
- What are the biblical qualifications of a pastor/elder?
- Do these qualifications describe me?
After much prayer and personal reflection, and for the sake of my integrity before the Lord, the church and my family, I have asked the elders to honor my request to be released as a pastor/elder at Calvary Monroe, to which they have humbly accepted. This difficult decision has been the culmination of a lengthy process of deep reflection and has roots in my reshaped understanding of gospel-centered church leadership, my current family needs, and my evolving sense of calling as a songwriter and worship leader. There has been no discontent nor disunity with the other elders that has influenced my decision whatsoever, and I resign with the firm knowledge that these brothers love Jesus, love me and my family and love this church deeply.
I want to encourage you to do a couple things with this information. First, pray. Transitions like this, even when they are the right decision, can be challenging and can take time to settle. Though my family and I plan to continue to serve at Calvary, the void left in the leadership will be immediately felt by the other elders. Please pray for these guys who are willingly and eagerly desiring to “shepherd the flock” that God has entrusted to them here (1 Peter 5:2). Remind them often that you love them and that you are committed to pray for them as you seek the Lord together. I promise you, they need to hear it. Second, don’t allow there to be speculation among you as to any other underlying reasons why I have resigned. There are none. My reasoning as mentioned above is fully based on my need to be obedient to God’s word as it pertains to the qualifications of an overseer (1 Tim 3:1-7), my need to lead my family well during this season of our lives (1 Tim 3:4-5), and my refocused sense of calling as a worship leader. It’s about my integrity before the Lord, my family, and the church.
Finally, because of Jesus, every one of us is absolutely free to make changes in every area of our lives – not just to make things right, but that we would honor and glorify Jesus better. I am so thankful to him for his faithfulness to provide me the answers I have been seeking in his word and for his ongoing reminder to my heart through numerous moments of doubt that this decision, being rooted in his perfect word, is within his perfect will. I am therefore hopeful that this will bring strength to the gospel-centered foundation that I know Calvary desires to be and must be built upon.
Your brother in Christ,