Yesterday I announced that I will be resigning at the end of the Summer. The following is an attempt to explain some of what has led to this decision.
Several months ago I received a prophetic word from the Lord that I was to rest for a month with increased time of worship and prayer because there was a "whirlwind" coming. It was a wonderful and refreshing time with my Jesus! Towards the end of that time quite unexpectedly I felt the Lord say that He would be transitioning me out of the church soon. I was kind of ticked to be honest. I love West Shore Church. I love what the Lord has done to turn the church around and the community that has been formed.
Though I tried, it was a feeling that I just could not shake. Things started happening to confirm what I felt. My wife was in agreement with me, both in sensing what was coming and in wanting to resist the coming transition.
The final confirmation came when we learned that my wife had been laid off due to state budget cuts. Since she is a Speech Pathologist working in pre-school and they are often in high demand and usually safe from any cuts, we were caught completely off guard...until we remembered what the Lord had told us. We agreed that we would position ourselves in obedience to what we had heard.
Just after that we learned that the church building which had been on the market for close to two years had sold all of a sudden. The sale had to be ratified by the congregation. As a matter of integrity I knew that I had to disclose to them what was going on before they voted on the building. They needed to know that I would not be on the other side of the sale with them.
The difficulty in this is that it effectively forced me to divulge something that normally would be shared after I knew where we would be going. Another impact of this is that it would be bad for the church if the time after announcing all this went on for too long. It would damage the morale and momentum of the church. So come the end of Summer I will be resigning whether I have found a new position or not. My wife also has pay and benefits until the end of August. So come September we will either be walking on water or sinking! :)
We feel strongly that the Lord has initiated all of this and will provide for us as we have positioned ourselves in faith and obedience. We have been in this position before and He has met us each and every time. We can look back and say "God is good." Our emotions go up and down depending on the day, but our faith is strong.
I have been so impressed with the people of West Shore Church in that they voted to sell the building anyway even though it was a much scarier thing knowing their pastor is leaving. They were deeply disappointed and we shared tears together, but they know that Jesus is the Head of the church not me. I know that they will continue to pursue Jesus in their lives as well as together as a church.