Over the last two years, I’ve heard from pastors who are thinking of stepping down and doing something different.
That, in fact, was my story in 2020.
It’s often a complicated decision because of the calling we felt when we first got into ministry.
It’s why I think it’s helpful to understand two important distinctions about a calling.
Some callings are for a lifetime. Some callings are for a season.
I’m called to a lifetime of pastoring people. I was called to a season of pastoring at Buckhead Church.
I’m called to a lifetime of following Jesus. I was called to a season of pastoring at Gwinnett Church.
There’s a difference in those callings.
Before I made the decision to leave the church, my counselor reminded me, “Your calling goes with you. You aren’t leaving it behind. It will be in a different context but it will look the same.”
In these 2 short years, I have seen her words come to life over and over again. For example, I want to encourage business leaders and to be a pastor to pastors.
That’s a new, seasonal calling but it’s built on a lifetime of one. I write this not to encourage pastors in our email community to leave. I write this to free you from the “calling guilt” some may throw your way.
Eventually, every calling at a specific church comes to an end. Some callings are for a season. Some callings last a lifetime.
It’s helpful not to get the two confused.
P.S. For more help with this, check out my new book, What to do Next available here: