Saturday, 14 May 2011

10 year Anniversary of our Exodus

It just occurred to me tonight that I just missed an anniversary earlier this month. Mother's Day 2011 marked the 10th anniversary of my last service as a pastor of an institutional church. It was Mother's day 2001 that we officiated the last service before leaving the professional pastorate. It's amazing how time flies.

God has sure looked after us and kept us those 10 years. We have met some amazing people. We have had some incredible times of fellowship. It is safe to say that I have grown more, and learnt more, in and about the Saviour in those 10 years than in all the previous years of my institutional church walk combined. God is so good!

Can you relate? If you've given up on institutional Christianity, how has your walk with Christ fared during that time? Have you grown in Christ? Would you consider yourself as a "backslider" or as more mature in your faith as a result? How would others in the church view you today after having left the institutional church?

I would really love to hear your thoughts on this. It would be interesting to compare experiences. Have a blessed day :)

4 comments:

  1. Hi Will:
    After 20 years in professional ministry we departed 8 years ago. The transition wasn't made any easier due to our denominational friends not understanding the decision-they still don't. I didn't realize how much of my identity was wrapped up in the ministry. There was a season of major withdrawal after stepping away. So many things about being a pastor had become like crack to me--I was a junkie being delivered from being "The Man"...authority, being needed, respected, etc. Gradually, the freedom has sunk in. I also used to be a prison chaplain, and transitioning is similar to what I saw institutionalized men go through as they reentered society. We are adjusting to His grace and freedom--a life without fences. Our minds are being renewed and transformed into a new way of thinking about church life and practice. Liberty is sweet! - John

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  2. John,
    Thank you for your comment. I totally get your "adjusting to His grace and freedom - a life without fences." Even after 10 years out of professional ministry, I am still often awed at how great His love is for me. Somehow, though I knew that before, the full implication of that love was strangely lost in the institution, and it was not until leaving that I began understanding it like never before. If that isn't ironic, I'm not sure what is. Blessings, my brother. To God be the glory.
    Will

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  3. It took leaving the institution to discover true freedom in Christ. I can honestly say I have never known the love of God to be more real, and I have found rest in him because I have started to actually understand the finished work of the cross in my life. Greater freedom, deeper love, more rest. I feel like my God has just got bigger and better since being driven out of the 'church' :)

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    Replies
    1. Dido. Thank you for sharing. Peace & Blessings to you and yours :)

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