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Stepping down from a lead position

 
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Post Stepping down from a lead position FLRon
Like many on this board, I have reached the age where I simply do not have the strength or stamina to continue at the pace I’m working at. To even admit that was not easy, yet it is the reality of where I am today.

This has brought me to having discussions with my wife about when and how to scale back on the workload, yet still keep active enough to be involved in the ministry of our church. I am conflicted however over relinquishing some of my major responsibilities because there is no one waiting in the wings to pick up the mantle, so to speak. Thus, I feel guilty about wanting to let go.

I’m curious to know how others have dealt with this season of their lives.
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Leonard Ravenhill
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4/8/22 3:34 am


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Post SCFIRE
Praying for you friend. I know that has to be a heavy decision for you to make.
Praying for a miracle entrance of someone with the same heart you have.
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4/8/22 8:01 am


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Post FLRon
SCFIRE wrote:
Praying for you friend. I know that has to be a heavy decision for you to make.
Praying for a miracle entrance of someone with the same heart you have.


I really do appreciate the prayers. Like most things in life it’s becoming an issue of how to strike that balance between doing what God has equipped one to do with the knowledge that it now takes longer to accomplish. The Monday’s that used to be spent resting up have now crept into part of Tuesday!
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4/8/22 8:09 am


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Post From a retired pastor roughridercog
When your decision is final and you walk away from a position, expect times of adjustment. For many years people might have sought out and valued your opinion and views. That will change.
Spend some time relaxing, maybe thinning your library a bit, passing on some books to young ministers.
Stay active as possible.
Look for and expect an outlet for ministry to develop. The corporation I work at part time in Branson has adopted me as their unofficial chaplain. Even though I may not be pastoring a church, I still have the heart of a shepherd.
Avoid vocalizing how you think something should be done to younger ministers unless your advice is asked for.
There's more I could say but you will discover them when you yourself retire.
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4/8/22 7:54 pm


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Post I with you FLRon Mat
I with you FLRon, as I get ready to turn 67 this summer, I'm thinking of ways to reduce the ministry load. One option is for me to cut my pay (I have not gone on SS yet, but may in the next year or two) and hire a part ministry couple which the goal of having them replace me fully in the future.

I'm fourth generation ministry, and both my father and grandfather were still active when I started my ministry. I'm not as old as some, but my life has been built around "church" from the moment I was born. Even as a sinner teenager I was very aware of the repercussions of my behavior. Not, bitter, had great parents and grandparents, but I want to live a couple of years outside of the structure of the church calendar. I might even take a walk on the beach on a Sunday morning (where God will send a sunomi to get me. Confused )

Its not the preaching, or the visiting, or the counseling, its all the other stuff to get to what I feel called to do.

FLRon, if God wants you to keep being a pastor, than God will provide the help you need.

Mat
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4/9/22 6:54 am


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Post Eddie Robbins
This is one of the reasons I went into real estate. I can go at my own pace whenever I want without a full blown retirement. You have to do what’s best for you! Acts-pert Poster
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4/9/22 10:58 am


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Post Some thoughts.... Aaron Scott
I saw a meme that said this: "The hardest decision you'll ever have to make is whether to quit...or try harder."

There have no doubt been many times that I could and should have tried harder. But as I age (I'll be 60 this year--ME!), I more and more recognize that I just don't have the mental or physical bandwidth to do all I would wish I could. I try to preach sound sermons, but it's almost as if I have to choose what things survive and what things don't.

When I look back on my dad's generation of pastors, there is no way I can come close. If you are bivocational, you can come home wore teetot'ly out, and just not seem to have the energy to visit, make calls, prepare for church, and give time to your family.

And yet none of us want to walk away. I think much of that is because we identify with our calling/church. But I think another issue--one that may almost be subconscious--is that we are afraid we will regret our choice.

I've known of wonderful men of God who retired, but felt like they had missed out in some way. There was a time, perhaps, when a retired preacher would not want for places that would call to have him come preach. That's not so much the case today. If you retire, you might have a few friends here and there that love having you come and preach, but it's just not like it used to be.

Then there is what I call "The Heavyweight Champion of the World" syndrome. Most great boxers stay in the game as long as they are winning. But then there finally comes a loss. But seldom does the former champion hang up his gloves at that point. No, he just figures he needs to try harder, etc. In fact, he may even reclaim the title! But eventually he loses again...and then again...and perhaps several more times until it becomes clear that it's time to step down. Basically, many pastors have to suffer a number of hits (it could be falling attendance, reduced energy, on and on) before they figure it out.

The champion that quits on top? Well, he can be left to wonder whether the shouldn't have went on for a few more years, since he had not yet turned in a string of losses (or maybe ANY losses). Either way, there may be come second-guessing. But a few things that I am trying to keep in mind for my own time to retire is that a church needs that fresh energy every now and then to go higher. Further, while we all want to close out with our church being at the top of the list, it may very well be that our calling was simply to keep the church alive long enough for God to position the next pastor, who will take it higher. I suppose that could provoke jealousy, but in truth, if you've tried to do what the Lord wanted you to do, then you will receive the same great reward as that of the more publicly successful pastors.

Anyway, that's my thoughts.
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4/9/22 1:57 pm


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Post Cojak
The members of your church face the same questions on the secular job. I watched my dad after retiring from 50 yrs as lead pastor, he was lost not having 'his people, his family'. I have thought many times how happy he could have been if a sabbatical had been a 'thing' back then.

NEVER retire unless you actually have something to fill the void, BECAUSE there will be a void. My dad had NO outside interests nor hobbies. He was a PASTOR! He did not golf, fish nor hunt. He relished the weekends because he was constantly asked to preach on weekends.

Electricians, carpenters, etc all trades become a part of a person's life, tough to STOP!

Retirement is sorta like that decision at 17 yrs of age, what do I do?
Prayers my friend, we always enjoy your input here and know 'that light' will come on, to show the way. Cool
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4/10/22 11:30 am


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Post Re: From a retired pastor Cojak
roughridercog wrote:
When your decision is final and you walk away from a position, expect times of adjustment. ......
Stay active as possible.
........
Avoid vocalizing how you think something should be done to younger ministers unless your advice is asked for.
................
......

I know ministers who cringe at the though of a 'retired' preacher becoming their church member, Some cannot follow that golden (red) rule..
VERY GOOD POINT RR.
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4/10/22 11:35 am


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Post Quiet Wyatt
Long-term pastors I have known who retired have definitely said they had difficulty adjusting to not having as much of a regular outlet for ministry as they had all their ministry before retirement. I suppose it’s similar to how many feel after retirement, regardless of what kind of career they were involved in. [Insert Acts Pun Here]
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4/10/22 3:17 pm


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Post My Plan FG Minister
I have been at this church for 25 years and plan to retire in 3 1/2 years when I will be 64. We have a succession plan (we are not COG). Our search committee will be formed in January 2023 and hopefully my successor will be found by September 2023. We will spend 9 months or longer searching for the right man. He will then shadow me for 2 years until everyone gets accustomed to him and I slip away into retirement after 28 years. We are a congregation of 400+ and another local pastor told me that finding a successor to a pastor who will have been here 28 years will the biggest decision this congregation will ever make. Not that I am irreplaceable, it's just that I have had a long tenure. I will leave him with at least $600K in the bank (already set aside), no mortgage, and not owing anyone anything. I want him to have a good opportunity to grow the church and not have to worry about finances in case a few people drift away just because he's different.

I will retire in another state and will never ever meddle in this church. All my sermons will be removed from the website and app. No mention of my name will be on the website or brochures. I will change my phone and email so as not to be easily accessible to my former members. I will not return to conduct funerals or weddings.

I will hopefully become active in another full gospel church when I retire. I will never serve as an elder or attend a business meeting. I will NEVER tell the pastor what he should do or what the fourth point of his sermon should have been. I will be the best member he has ever had by keeping my mouth shut except to pray for him.
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4/11/22 8:53 am


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Post Re: My Plan Mat
FG Minister wrote:
I have been at this church for 25 years and plan to retire in 3 1/2 years when I will be 64. We have a succession plan (we are not COG). Our search committee will be formed in January 2023 and hopefully my successor will be found by September 2023. We will spend 9 months or longer searching for the right man. He will then shadow me for 2 years until everyone gets accustomed to him and I slip away into retirement after 28 years. We are a congregation of 400+ and another local pastor told me that finding a successor to a pastor who will have been here 28 years will the biggest decision this congregation will ever make. Not that I am irreplaceable, it's just that I have had a long tenure. I will leave him with at least $600K in the bank (already set aside), no mortgage, and not owing anyone anything. I want him to have a good opportunity to grow the church and not have to worry about finances in case a few people drift away just because he's different.

I will retire in another state and will never ever meddle in this church. All my sermons will be removed from the website and app. No mention of my name will be on the website or brochures. I will change my phone and email so as not to be easily accessible to my former members. I will not return to conduct funerals or weddings.

I will hopefully become active in another full gospel church when I retire. I will never serve as an elder or attend a business meeting. I will NEVER tell the pastor what he should do or what the fourth point of his sermon should have been. I will be the best member he has ever had by keeping my mouth shut except to pray for him.


Great plan, especially the part about moving away and not having contact with the church. I was taught you do not go back to a local church you were pastor of for at least a year, and then only by invitation of the pastor.

Too many pastors who moved on from a local church (for whatever reason like to go back and get an ego boost of adoration form their friends. Their pastorate is better in hindsight, as often the problems which cased them to move on are forgotten.

A pastor who dabbles with a past church is undermining the current pastor.

Mat
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4/12/22 6:41 am


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Post sheepdogandy
Dead
Disabled
Disqualified

Until then, I will keep on, keeping on.

A friend who founded a great Congregation, (who is now in his 90's).

Said, "If I knew I would feel this good, I would have never retired."
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4/15/22 2:30 pm


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