On Sunday, January 10th of 2016, I (Pastor Pete) read my resignation letter to start of that morning’s message. Below is the resignation letter and a brief explanation behind why I’m quitting…
After much prayer and reflection, I have made a private decision that I need to make public here today. Effective immediately, I am resigning as the leader of our church. I am taking this drastic measure because the challenges of leadership here are simply more than I can currently handle. It is difficult for me to admit, but I have been in over my head for some time now. I am inadequate to lead this church. I simply cannot do it alone or be in charge anymore. I’ve just had a hard time admitting it. For a long time, I have carried the burden, the decisions, the pain, and the weight of trying to lead this church to greatness. I am simply incapable of accomplishing this great task.
I thought for a long time I could do it. I thought for a long time that I could help our church grow and reach more people. I thought I was capable of leading our amazing team in accomplishing our mission. I have worked hard to discipline and grow myself as a leader, preacher, and visionary of our church. More so than ever before, however, God has shown me that I am not the man for this job. That’s why I have made the decision to resign.
What does my resignation mean for this church? Well, frankly, it means things will soon get better around here. Things will get healthier around here. This church can now return its focus to what God has called it to be and do. The church will be more unified and more loving without me in charge. The church will also possess much more ability than I can contribute to it. I am just sorry it has taken this long to come to this point.
Let me be clear in this, though. I have no intention of resigning from my actual position as lead pastor of our church. I am confident that God called me here for a purpose. I have never asked Him for certainty of success, just certainty of the call. I’m confident God has called me to be lead pastor of The Edge Church. Therefore, I’m not resigning from that position.
I am simply giving up any desire to be the leader of this church. That is not the same thing as lead pastor, nor is it my rightful place. Jesus is the Chief Shepherd, and I am accountable to live under His authority and care for His flock. I confess to you that this has often not been the case. I have usurped His authority. I have disobeyed His commands at times. I have often done what I wanted to do at the expense of what He has wanted to do. I’ve never done this blatantly, but upon reflection, I realize that the battle between my flesh and His Spirit has been an ongoing struggle. For that, I am sorry. I have repented to God. Today I repent to you.
I have now accepted the fact that if our church is ever going to become what God wants it to be, I’m going to need to decrease and He is going to need to increase. I’m going to need to lead less and follow Him more. The job of leading this church rests on God’s capable shoulders. I don’t want to take His place again.
Let it be known that today I am resigning my agenda. I am letting go of my selfish ambitions. I am giving up my desires. I am decreasing that He may increase. I am dying that He might live. Recently I actually made the audacious request to Him that He come and work through me again. I asked Him to take over this church again.
If this resignation letter shocks you or makes you uncomfortable, please accept my apology. I didn’t write it simply for “shock value” or to cause you to panic.
The inspiration for the resignation was found in the book The Measure of our Success – An Impassioned Plea to Pastors and I wanted to share it because it reflects my heart. As you’ve maybe heard me share on Sundays, I believe God wants us to empty ourselves of something so that He can fill that place up with Him.
Put differently, in order for 2016 to be our best year yet, it has to be our deepest year spiritually.
I started with the resignation letter that Sunday morning because it reflects my heart’s desire to surrender to God. I surrender my will, my ambition, my capabilities and my aptitude and replace them with God’s will and His desire – for this church and for me.
What is God asking you to surrender? What do you need to empty out of yourself from 2015 so that He can make this your best year yet?