Why I’m Leaving The “Ministry”

Why I’m Leaving The “Ministry”

As my family prepares to leave for a new season of life (in five days!), I have been feeling led to explain in greater detail why we feel now is the right time to uproot and move to another place. So I thought I would take time to write and address some common questions we have gotten.

The most common question I get is, “so you’re not going to be working for a church?”

I have been in full-time, paid ministry for seven years and was in Bible college preparing for full-time, paid ministry for the four years before that. Eleven years of my life has been dedicated to the presupposition that my greatest effectiveness was to work within the current structure of the church and to fulfill the mission that God has given to me since I was a teenager.

The mission that I feel God has put me on is to “preach repentance to the church in America.” I know it sounds arrogant. But before you get angry at me, let me explain. The American church is an odd breed. I remember taking a buddy of mine to one of the largest church planting conferences and as we walked through the “expo” center he said to me, “wow, I had no idea church planting was so commercialized.” This was an “untrained” man who did not live in the church celebrity/leadership culture that I had become accustomed to. He reminded me of the nagging little thought that always bothers me about many of our churches. We are far too in love with ourselves.

We like our denominations, logos, productions, buildings, music, brand, staff, and social activities. We are an oddity when compared to scripture. We do it all in the name of ministry and talk of our kingdom advances and the souls won for Christ. But I have found that if we peel back the curtain and get past all the rhetoric and talk, we find a crumbling church structure, fighting to survive, afraid of losing our power in the community.

The reality is, I can no longer handle the “professionalism” of the church. I’m tired of running a non-profit incorporation that calls itself a church. I’m tired of feeling limited in the scope of relationships because of some strange “loyalty” to a particular name on a church that pays my salary. Truthfully, I don’t particularly like what God showed me about myself in these last seven years. I realize now he was first calling me to preach repentance to myself.

I found that it is far too easy to be in love with “the ministry” and not with Jesus or people. I found myself using relationships to advance our “cause”. I found myself dreading to speak the word of God because of great discouragement. I found myself wanting to help people who were being shipwrecked in the faith, but not really sure how to stop the boat. I was being hurt and hurting others. And I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that these past eleven years of school and paid ministry were not about what I was going to “do” but about who I was supposed to “be”.

The funny thing about the title of this post is, I’m not leaving the “ministry” at all. In fact, I believe I’m preparing to move into some of my most effective service in the kingdom of God. I know many paid leaders in churches would be liberated by not being paid by the church. The problem is they haven’t been trained to do anything else. So out of fear, they stay. I wish more would actually leave the “Ministry”.

So no, I won’t be paid by the church. But that doesn’t mean I’m leaving ministry. What it means is that I can continue on in the journey that Christ has called me to. I can still preach the gospel. I can still love my neighbors. I can still bring healing to the broken. I can still seek to set the captives free. I can still counsel the downhearted. I can still disciple my children. I can still serve the church. None of that changes. The only thing that’s really changing, is probably my own, and others, perception of me.

And to be honest, that might be a good thing.

84 Comments

  1. I was so uplifted to read your blog lts exactly how i feel my many yrs in the chuch has led me where I am today. the condition of the ch & problems within has almost driven me away, not from Christ but the physical church. Make sure you leave an address for those who would like to help support you. God Bless you & your family. with love Barbara

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  2. Brother….we’ve never met, but I just read this post and it is very exciting to read your words. God has truly been growing you in to a great leader over the last eleven years. You speak the truth and that is so powerful because there is freedom in the truth. I pray that God continues to disciple you and bless you with wisdom. Many Blessings!

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  3. Jason, What a great article!! And so very true! Congratulations for taking the step to make a change!

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    • Jason,
      I am a “bi-vocational” pastor. I draw no salary or allowance of any kind from the church I Pastor. In fact I give to the church to support its ministry, so in effect – I pay to be the Minister at our Church.
      I feel no obligation to curtail God’s word in fact I feel liberated to preach the truth fully. I am still there after 18 months so I guess even though sometimes the truth hurts, it is still recognized and respected as God’s word and His guidance.

      Kevin Miller

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      • Thank you Kevin. What a great gift – how lovely to read that – we’ve been given so much by Jesus, and your generosity overflows.

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  4. Welcome to the ministry; I mean your new one, outside the box. Was ordained in 1990, the best years of my ministry began the day I stop taking a salary as a minister, got a job, and started serving my community (Canada) and the world how Jesus was leading me, rather than how a management structure and people was dictating to me. Freedom to be his, and follow his leading. Best ministry years, most fruitful ones too, were they day “The Ministry” stopped. You will never regret the decision. Your new path will have its own challenges. However, anyone I asked who took this path, with a BOAT LOAD of unknowns….”Would you go back to the way it was before?” “Heck no!”, was the answer every time. I’m imbedded in an Islamic community half the year and rarely post about this kind of stuff on the web… But had to encourage you. Best advice I ever got early on…. Don’t try to defend it, or convince people about it (that this is ok, good, better,more fruitful or biblical etc) just live it. That advice saved me a lot of pain. Bon Voyage!

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  5. Jason, I have only met you once or twice. One at your home and once more at your former church. I must say that this is really a well written and enlightening article. You came across as a bright and insightful young man,and I’m sure your future is bright.

    I am sure you will do well in all you attempt.

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  6. Amen brother. You might just find, as so many others have, that ministry doesn’t end at the church parking lot, it starts there. Freed from the religious trappings that stifle community you should find freedom. A word of caution. This transition is likely to be difficult, misunderstood and sometimes frustrating but once you pull the curtain back you can never go back.

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  7. Congrats Phil! This was refreshing to read :)

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  8. I don’t think there is a club (there should be) but welcome to it! For some of the same reasons and others my family and I walked away from “paid” ministry. And ministry is so much better… People look at me funny when I tell them…. And I look at the funny for still doing paid ministry. My prayers for you and your family as you adjust.

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  9. Thank you for sharing this. Very refreshing and encouraging.

    After leaving ‘full time ministry’ for over 6 years now, I still get the question: Don’t you miss full time ministry? When would you be back in full time ministry or any ministry? Do you still preach? etc. Very common and well meant questions, particularly within the charistmatic side of full time ministry, however I get a puzzled look when I said, I have never left full time ministry. I am now in 24/7 discipleship, teaching my son how to hear God’s voice is not an easy task. Being a model to him and encouraging other parents who also have a child diagnosed with a chronic disease is not outside ‘full time ministry’. I don’t think I have every been so involved in the reality of full time ministry until now.

    In fact,as I told a friend of mine who thought she was to keep me ‘accountable’ and asked me how was my relationship with God, when was the last time I read my Bible and how many times a day I pray? …. mmmh interesting questions, to what I responded, being a new parent makes you be thankful to God often, having to be in and out of hospitals you are in constant prayer and through those dark and long nights of care you read the Bible with all your heart -literally- so you don’t disturb others in the ward. Full time ministry is what I call, what you make of it, not a geographical state or an office post.

    Hope the transition for both, you and your family goes as smooth as possible.

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  10. I don’t know your journey and thus cannot comment on the wisdom of your movement . . . a few observations from between the lines . . .

    1. We should take care not to confuse our ‘brand’ for ‘the’ brand of anything – including church . . . what ‘the’ church is, none of us can say . . . only what our own experience of (a particular) church has been . . .

    2. The blessings of learnings are often a long time in the coming and sometimes only in a very long rear view of things . . . and people . . .

    3. the greatest wisdom I ever learned (from 12-step programs) – the emphasis on the ‘I’ statement, especially when speaking of a problem . . . where am I in the problem has been the most important learning in my life, for it’s been very easy (for me) to see the problem of the rest of you (the world) and very difficult for me to reflect on where I am in the problem (as well as in the solution). There is no church that is other than me . . . better said, it’s all a we proposition, so ‘the church’ is nothing . . . ‘we’ are.

    Blessings in your journey and with all you meet and learn along the way.

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    • Thanks, Beth! I like your comments — especially #3! In my experience ministry is about loving the people — feeding both the physically & the spiritually hungry — visiting the shut-in and the sick — and doing this as one way of loving God!

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  11. The practice of “meeting together” for the purpose of teaching, preaching, worshipping in music and song, encouraging, and prayer will continue with or without the church government body. Lay people (I never have liked that term) equipped with the word of God and led by the Holy Spirit will continue to advance the kingdom. Just because “that’s the way we always did it” is a prevailing attitude among many church professionals and legacy warriors of the faith does not mean God is accomplishing his will through us in the same ways today than he did before.

    I encourage you brother to accomplish what his purposes are for you unencumbered by the spoken or unspoken hinderences of human ties.

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  12. THANK YOU that someone on the inside of the production has seen it and called it what it is. I will be praying for your next ministry on the outside. God Bless you and your real ministry! See my blog article from October 13.

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  13. The comments of your journey are powerful and true. The church in America has lost her identity. The Gospel is the most powerful, life changing message anyone can share with those who are lost. Many churches have decided to share a “business like” approach of “selling” their vision and kingdom. Churches have asked the people what they want to hear, see, even down to the right temperature in the building. I wonder what the great ministers of the past would think of our modern marketing church environment? Would Charles Finney still preach his lectures of revival the same way or would he be afraid to offend someone in the congregation and hold back? Would George Whitefield preach in the rain for hours the message of the Gospel (no today’s people would complain about the rain and not having some where to stay dry and the length of the services being too long). Charles Spurgeon might find the conditions different because the people’s ears and hearts were harden. Would D.L. Moody even leave the shoe salesman job if he had to deal with some of the politics found within the chruch?

    Revival is a necessity in America! Revival is not for the world, but for the church to awaken and see what the purpose of her existence is. The purpose of the church is to spread the Good News of Christ to the whole world. The Gospel is the answer to every problem anyone might face. The problem many in the church have is they want to supply the answer in other ways. Let God’s powerful Gospel change lives and leave our thoughts and ideas at the door. We could not save ourselves and neither can we save anyone else by our OWN efforts. God is mighty to save and will if we will surrender EVERYTHING over to Him.

    God please bring revival to our nation! Please bring conviction back to the church! Awaken us! May repentance be preached again like when John the Baptist preached it right before Jesus’ would come and become the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. Give us some John the Baptists who would preach in the wilderness again, not ashamed and with boldness.

    I pray you will be one of those voices in the wilderness.

    God Bless You.

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  14. Jason, I applaud your discernment not simply about God’s leading but your self-understanding. We need more like you who will work among the 83% rather than work for the 17%. May the Lord increase your tribe.

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  15. Peace be with you.

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  16. If you want to be of real service to humanity, this group offers a set of terrific tools: http://www.clergyproject.org

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  17. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. so much the reason i really struggle with “church”. thanks for this.

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  18. Jason – It’s enlightening to hear this from the perspective of a former paid pastor.

    God revealed this truth to me about the corporate church many years ago, but it was only earlier this year that I chose to listen to His revelation and try and pass on that message.

    If you have the time, please check out my web site: http://honorgodsword.com/

    It’s a kind of one-stop-shop for the simple church philosophy. I have written several posts on the site, but I also provide posts and links to other sites of the same philosophy.

    I hope you don’t mind if I provide a link to your work in my “Resource Links?”

    May God bless you in your ministry.

    Neil Braithwaite

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  19. Jason – I am so glad for you. The Nicolaitan heirarchy of religious organizations go back to Babylon, and have come to us through Media/Persia, Greek Rhetoric, and Roman Rule. All of these are built on sinking sand. Jesus is the Rock/Stone not cut by human hands who has overcome all earthly rulers. The Jewish Temple had incorporated all of the religious elements of worldly relgion and so was razed to the ground, just as King Jesus declared. I am confident that your walk in the Spirit will be greatly enriched. You will no longer be one who is forsaking the assembling together with The Body of Christ due to gathering only with a “Brand” location that exist for the benefit of paid staff. All the glory be to God.

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  20. Jason,

    I am glad that you have “seen the light” so to speak. I left the institutional church 9 years. There is life after being a full-time pastor. I am now ministering to those who would never walk into a church as well as caring for those who have left. As George Barna once said, “Less than 1/2 of 1% of all spiritual transformation takes place outside the church.” I find that to be so true.
    Blessings to you as you further His Kingdom.

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  21. Too many churches have strayed from teaching the Word, plainly and simply. A church has to ‘keep’ the congregation coming back with whatever fluff and frills they get them ‘in’ with. Check out the church I attend. http://www.barabbas.com Stop by if you’re ever in San Diego. God bless.

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  22. I find your decision to be disappointing. While your observations have merit, and, if I may editorialize, you are leaving the “pastorate” as opposed to leaving the “ministry.” That’s okay. Vocational ministry isn’t for everybody. The things that strike me as disappointing are that all of the reasons you state for giving up the pastorate are much more indicators of your personal discouragement than of the pastorate in general. We pastors have a tough time remembering that we are the pastor of a flock – not all flocks. We, through the study of the Word, the guidance of the elders, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, can really only affect one flock – our own. For you to have taken the weight of the world on your shoulders and use that to justify your decision, is frankly cowardly. I truly believe that you will minister in the world at large and I pray that you will find the contentment you obviously did not find in vocational ministry. You are choosing to change your vocation. Fine. But when you make your choice, at least own-up to it being just that – your choice. Making yourself a victim of the evil church system is cowardly. When you get disappointed in the next endeavor, will you trash that as well? I trust that God will be true to His word and cause things to work together for good in your decision. Try to move on to your next adventure without this chip on your shoulder.

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    • I appreciate your transparency Andrew. Thanks for sharing. I have to admit however, that posts like these are disappointing. I find that many times, when leaders choose to leave vocational ministry, they give in to the temptation to bash the church on the way out, when many times their personal experience is extremely contextual. I find it ironic that you’re talking about the culture of America’s church and how they’ve surrendered to commercialism. I believe you’re surrendering to a very ancient trend in American culture…the “stick it to the man” attitude.

      Organizations are easy targets. It’s so tempting to chuck rocks at the church, instead of owning our own struggles and challenges as leaders. I am a vocational pastor. I am raising a family on what the church pays me, and I am extremely grateful for that. I don’t take it for granted and I lead out of a passion for the calling God has placed on my life to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. I could easily do bi-vocational ministry, but it would not “liberate” me in the slightest. It would burden me and hold me back from my fullest potential as a pastor, husband and father. The church paying me does not stifle my ministry in the slightest. If you want to do ministry without payment from the church, so be it, but bashing the church, and bashing those paid by the church is unnecessary and small.

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      • Well said.

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    • Thanks for this comment to Jason’s blog. I agree. What was going through my mind is that what Jason seems to be writing about is leaving the call of ministry in a local church, which is different than leaving ministry, which he is not doing obviously. But, to kick dirt on the local church on the way out seems to be petty. I’ve had my share of being kicked down by the local church since becoming a head pastor. Church is messy. I think the Apostle Paul would agree. But, you don’t throw out the baby…. I honestly think there is truth to what so many of the people are saying on this blog, including what Jason had to say, but could it be that the institution of the church has been led recently by men and women who were not called to that ministry? Kevin DeYoung’s book, “Why We Love the Church” was very helpful for me to continue to believe in the local church as a tool God will use to bring revival.

      Many people are leaving the institution, and most never find a replacement, not even a home group that satisfies everything. Church, to me, is like a marriage. It’s easy to leave it, but takes compassion and mercy, love and forgiveness to stay together. I have seen people leave the institution because they didn’t have the tools to do the labor of love required among all believers.

      I’m not trying to belittle Jason’s decision or the blog, but just perhaps give a different perspective. Jason, I’m sorry that you went through whatever it is you went through, but I’m glad it was an opportunity for God to perhaps redirect your call. Blessings as you seek the higher ground, and as Jay says, don’t go into your new ministry with this apparent chip on your shoulder.

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    • Whoa, Jay..not sure Jason’s the one with the chip, here.

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      • I’m confused by what seem to be contradictory posts – you agree with me about the “apparent chip” and then you say you’re not sure Jason’s the one with the chip. I’d like to respond if I was clear on what you’re saying.

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    • I find that what you just did on your post, by calling Jason a coward, actually validates the author’s argument. Your name calling is uncalled for. In all honestly feel sad for you and your “flock” as you exude self-righteousness. So sad.

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  23. Thank you for your post and frank synopsis of your time in ministry. I can certainly empathize with you and your struggle with the local church. I struggle with my church as well. However, in the middle of that imperfection, I have seen how God uses imperfect people and glorifies himself. I have seen changed lives and many reconciliations that encourage me to be a part of the ministry. I am trained to do other work and sincerely, I would make a lot more money outside of the church but I choose to be a full time pastor. I can also say that my denomination and church have been very helpful in extremely difficult times such as my divorce. I have been healed through my brothers and sisters and of course, the Holy Spirit. I wish you lots of success in your ministry. I choose to continue to serve God where he has placed me.

    Happy New Year!

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  24. GOOD FOR YOU! I think you will find that blessings will flow beyond measure once you leave behind the “control” the church system has over people and you are truly able to walk in the FREEDOM HE wants you to walk in. I just shared this with a good friend of mine who is in the ministry a couple of months ago “Many are being “shaken” out of the dogma’s, doctrines, and traditions of men and being asked to [like Peter] step out of the boat [the church] and walk on water. What does water represent in your Holy Scriptures?!? HIS Holy spirit. HE IS CALLING for those who have an ear to hear :)

    I <3 LOVE <3 and so AGREE with what you say in this article!!! You hit the nail on the head with "REPENTANCE" … the church is MISSING THIS BIGTIME!!! One has to ask themselves "why are we not seeing healings when people are prayed over? Because we are not getting to the root cause of the illness … repentance! Once we repent, this is when our TRUE healing will happen.
    You were also dead on with the statement "We are far too in love with ourselves." I've watched for years now "the paid" leadership make excessive salaries [3-4 times the average congregant and even 40+% more than one in a management position], plus all the special benefits and people falling all over them to do things for them. Who's taking care of the widow, the orphan, and the poor?!? NO one and I know this first hand, as I am a widow.
    NO One cannot "market" Yahoveh God … HE IS OMNIPRESENT and fits in NO box!!! HE is the one who brings the increase and spiritually blesses the people. The churches are complaining because people are leaving them in droves … hey … here's a novel idea … what if the churches were to just get into his word, do what it says [not the man made dogma's, doctrines, and traditions] … then one would truly see LOVE in action and the miracles that the first century church witnessed!!!
    May HE BLESS YOU with HIS double portion blessing for "stepping" out of the boat in faith!!!

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  25. Eph4:1211And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.…
    *************
    Luke 10:7bfor the labourer is worthy of his hire.
    *************
    (‘The mission that I feel God has put me on is to “preach repentance to the church in America.” ) In the ministry we are given many hats to wear in different seasons. For a time we might be a Pastor (to cover for an ailing one, or a church that has none because of death or whatever), then the Lord may have us to be an Evangelist in the field for awhile and so on. (John21:16He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep). We are called to be ‘under shepherds’ of HIS Flock, whether it be in a ‘church’, a home setting, gymnasium, wherever you would happen to gather. And it does state in scripture that the laborer is worthy of his hire, in other words, he should be paid. If a person gives their entire life to minister-ing to people, and have no other source of income, GOD provides it to them with tithes and offerings.
    ***********
    The church is not a building but the people. We are the bricks in the wall, Holy Spirit is the mortar that keeps us together and strong, loving our work, each other and the people GOD wants us to reach out to. Church as we know it, is fading into oblivion mostly because of the times we live in. Soon, it will be illegal to even be seen with a Bible, let alone preach it. There is a reason for the scripture: Psalm119:11’Thy word have I HID in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee’. Keep the Word, ponder it in your heart so you won’t forget GOD, but also because the Holy Bible will be outlawed and you will have to call on Holy Spirit to bring to remembrance the things that you have read and studied.
    *************
    John The Baptist was a prime example of evangelism, he had no church, I am not really sure if he was paid since he ate locusts and honey…He traveled wherever the Spirit of GOD led him. The world was in a sense, his pulpit. I have seen many pastors fall because of the stress put on them from the church by those who were performance oriented and not concerned about the move of the Spirit of GOD. Some churches went all out with programs and the like to keep the people from leaving, when in fact, if Holy Spirit had been in his rightful place, there wouldn’t be so many burnt out pastors, hurt saints, and folks leaving. I have also found that when you feel an uncertainty where you are at, you need to know if it is indeed your time to leave, or perhaps the Lord is calling you to a higher level in Him to help you handle the everyday stress of pastorate/ministry. Yes it is very stressful, especially if you are married with a family, the ‘Fish Bowl’ existence is not an easy life, so much is expected from a ministerial family, everyone knows your business or they make it their business to know yours, and shouldn’t. Some have such fantasies of the pulpit and what it would be like to pastor, and even try to pastor despite of it not being their calling, however if GOD has not called you to be that, you will be miserable and in disobedience. He may well have something else in mind for you. It is a wonderful thing to want to shepherd people, to care for their souls, but we must seek His face and will for our particular life.. Why would GOD say: “Well done, my good and faithful servant”, if you didn’t do what He wanted you to do, and did what you wanted.
    *******************
    Old saying, not Bible: ‘Be what you is and not what you isn’t’.. Find your place in the Body Of Christ, and do it to the best of your ability, with Holy Spirit empowering you and keeping you from burn out and stress doing things you have no business being involved in.

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  26. I stumbled upon this blog through a friend on FB. Seems as though the church isn’t the problem with “branding”. People are “branding themselves”, especially now on social media, rather than just writing books. Even in the responses to this blog people suggest checking their web page out or their latest blog. And, really, what’s wrong with that? Why can’t we promote the church in the way people are promoting themselves? I do admit churches seem to be competing, and I as a pastor actually loathe the holidays because everyone’s trying to outdo one another. Who came up with doing a Christmas Eve service in the first place? However, what I loathe even more are Christians trying to compete with one another, outdoing each other on their blogs or by writing books or by tweeting. I actually think everyone’s wanting to eventually be “discovered” and become the “new thing”. It’s as if we all want to “make it big” in Christianity, get more followers, and be able to make a name for ourselves, when really, shouldn’t we be like John the Baptist and pointing everyone to following Christ?

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  27. Come and work with my wife, Peg, and I. We are serving the Lord in the Dominican Republic. We have been serving God in the DR for seven years. We receive no salary. We are an independent mission. We need help! We need Jesus committed people who put Jesus first, rather than themselves. Contact me. Come for a week or two. See how God truly works in and through people. You will be amazed!

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  28. Have you ever thought about being a missionary teacher/administrator/chaplain in Okinawa, Japan? http://www.ocsi.org. Church family here has been exactly what I imagine community to be like in the book of Acts: Simple, hard working, and genuine.

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  29. Made the same decision a little over 7 years ago. I had come to the point to be so empty that it almost cost me my family and I still could not get some people to grasp that fact. I was told by several people that my 10% was better than many pastors 100%. I took an empty drink bottle at a church meeting on night and told one of the men to take a drink. He looked a me with a puzzled look and said that it was impossible because the bottle was empty. I looked at every one in the room and told them it was a great example of where I was. The well was dry and nothing was left. It was the best decision I made for the ministry and for the people that had to listen to me week by week. I still preach when the opportunity comes. I still share the faith and minister to folks I would have never met had I remained. I have more people asking questions than ever. My family relationship is the best it has been in almost 15 years. Stay the course, be true to the Master and watch Him work like never before. And as I use to remind people weekly…It’s all about Jesus!

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  30. Could not agree more. I have stopped attending church altogether while I still had a measure of faith. What I have found is that closeness to Christ, faith in Him, and love for my neighbor has benefited immensely.

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  31. Truthfully, this is why I am Catholic. I was an Evangelical Protestant now am Roman Catholic. Say what you want about The Church (you probably misunderstand the teaching anyway) but they preach repentance, the priests make very little, they serve 24/7 if necessary, everyone is called to a vocation whether it be single, married, religious, or priesthood so there aren’t “stars.” There is structure, authority, accountability (when used properly), and an apostolic tradition dating back to the original 12 disciples of Jesus. Each of us is called, but we are not all called in the same way.

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    • This comment strikes me as true, even as I’m not Roman Catholic. The problem with modern assumptions about the pastorate is that we’re expecting dynamic rather than theologically solid and emotionally firm and stable. We don’t enter the pastorate to change lives. We enter the pastorate to preach the Word and offer the sacraments, thereby clearing room for God to change lives. We are the calm in the storm, preaching a message that is not our own. I came to peace with my role as pastor when I finally accepted that I’m nothing special. Someday I will be dead and there will be other faithful servants to preach this gospelthat is not their own. In a phrase, the truth about pastoring is that it strikes terribly at our pride. We either learn that we are not as special as we once thought, or we burn out.

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    • Being protestant or catholic does not change your situation. You are still in the same substitute family(Satan) instead of the real family(The Lord Almighty). Depending on the religious group you claim membership to will depend on the lie you hear. There are no religious groups that are of God or that teach His way.

      If one claims to be Catholic they could just as easily claim to be Jewish. Don’t believe that? Study the ten core doctrines of both groups and their rituals and celebrations. There is no difference.

      Claiming to be Catholic or Protestant only has some difference. Here is one observation that is the same in both groups. Christ-Mas, yes I used the hyphen to bring out what I am trying to show. Catholics don’t have church service they have Mas. Constantine added pagan symbols and rituals to what had once been the true church established be Jesus. By doing that Constantine created a new religion. The true church continued on but was done quietly so they could try to avoid persecution.

      The Christ-Mas tree, was and still is a pagan religious symbol. It has nothing to do with the Lord.

      Jesus wasn’t even born in December. Here is a very interesting article about when Jesus was born and it has sound evidence to support the claim it makes.

      http://www.versebyverse.org/doctrine/birthofchrist.html

      The date of 25 December falls in line with the pagan religion and their winter solstice of their sun rituals and celebrations. The evergreen(Chrsit-Mas) tree is part of their nature worship.

      The Catholic and Protestant religions have pagan symbols, rituals and celebrations.

      I have never understood why anyone claiming to be Christian and not Catholic still follow many of the Catholic/pagan traditions.

      I know most won’t believe or accept this but you have to decide if you want to believe a lie as true or if you really want to know that you actually do believe the truth.

      The hard part is deciding to find out and then having to let go and turn in another direction after you discover you were wrong in your belief.

      I have been on that journey for over 27 years. Nothing surprises me anymore. I also never take it for granted that I actually know all the truth. I always make the choice to think I might be wrong and that keeps me constantly studying to find out if I am right or I am wrong. It is only when you think you don’t need to keep checking that you then can be sure you are wrong.

      Reply
  32. It takes great courage to wholeheartedly follow Christ. I am very encouraged to read your blog, and hear that you are listening to your heart, and the voice of the Shepherd. I will be praying for you! I mean it, and will add your to my prayer list for 2014. My husband has been studying and writing about the Kingdom of God for over 25 years. A gospel of repentance, a message that must be preached before the end comes. We are growing in the love of Christ, and service to others. This is our calling, and the way of Christ. You will need strength, wisdom, and continual help from the Holy Spirit as you go. God bless you and keep you to the end.

    Reply
  33. I’ve been working in independent ministries, living off of gifts that individuals give me since 1995. I raised four sons with no health insurance. We have been quite poor at times, by monetary standards, and many of our friends and family called us irresponsible, but we have survived and I feel we have been able to minister for GOD, not for a church group. We presently run a ministry to the homeless–have helped about 250 people.

    Reply
  34. Check out http://www.hisholychurch.org this is not a church on a street corner. It is not a religious group. It does not lift up any religious groups over any other.

    Read what is there if you want to learn the truth. If you think you already know the truth and don’t want to learn don’t go there because you will be very unhappy about what you find.

    If you are tired of all the church groups and denominations you will find this to be a very big breath of fresh air.

    Reply
  35. Hi everyone. I ghost-wrote this blog entry.

    Reply
  36. Your post caught my eye as I ‘left’ 17 years of formal pastoring about 2.5 years ago and have had this move confirmed many times (let me say, I praise God for the men & women who remain in positions of ministry in the Local Church – may we never throwt the baby out with the bathwater!) Two experiences have seared the wisdom of this decision into my mind and heart:
    #1 – Days before my family and I packed our mini van to drive from California to North Carolina (where I now work), one of our church family members pulled me aside. He was crying – something I had never seen him do. I told him I was so sorry to see his sad, but that the past 8 years walking together had been wonderful and there was much more ahead – we would continue walking the journey. He looked at me and said ‘Chris, I am not as much sad as I am mad … at myself’. I must have had a puzzled look on my face and he continued, ‘I am mad at myself that I do not have the same courage to step out of the comfort zone of traditional church and into what I sense is more Kingdom, Heart of God ministry … you are doing the right thing.’
    #2 – After being in North Carolina for a year, working in a whole new environment, we had been attending our new found church for about 10 months, when one of the long-standing members who happened to be a rather immature and angry individual pulled me aside after a business meeting where I had pushed back on how effective we were really being as a church in our community. She was clearly angry and said, ‘now I understand why you aren’t pastoring anymore … apparently you are not much of a pastor if you have to work in a non-church job to support your family.’ Wow! Quite the angry person. It hit me in a split second and I responded – ‘I understand you are angry, but allow me to say I will never cease to be a pastor. I don’t shepherd a local congregation, but instead a team of staff in 18 countries who in turn oversee 1000s of volunteers. Most of all, though, being a pastor is far more about walking the journey with my family, investing in my kids, sharing Jesus with my neighbors, letting my heart break for what breaks the heart of God, and growing more mature to be able to respond with love to spiteful comments like yours.’
    Jason, may The Lord use you as you move into this new season – life will continue to be messy in new ways – but God remains the same!!

    Reply
  37. churches are the reason i don’t believe in god anymore.

    Reply
    • I hear this sort of thing often, Anna, but I must admit that it makes no sense to me. Could you perhaps explain how a bad experience among people who are by nature sinners confuses the gospel message? Reading Corinthians reminds me that the church has often been less than ideal; a reality that for me affirms the sinfulness of humanity and that there is an objective Godly goodness that we have most certainly not achieved!

      Reply
    • Anna~
      Your statement makes me very sad. I am curious how you can say the “church” is responsible for your decision to no longer believe in God.

      Yahoveh God is still God through the good and in the bad … HE is always in control and has been since the beginning of time when HE spoke the worlds into existence in Genesis 1. This will never change ;)

      YES, the church is filled with sinners and imperfect people [including you and I] and there has only been one perfect man who has ever walked the earth. That is Yahushua “Jesus” the Messiah [Anointed One]. It is because of the lack of love and lack of repentance that the church is where it is today. Too many people teach and follow the “prosperity gospel,” as though God is some genie in a bottle that is there to honor our every wish [prayer]. HIS Word warns us that a time would come when people would not listen to sound doctrine. “Proclaim the Word! Be urgent in season, out of season. Reprove, [1] warn, appeal, with all patience and teaching. {Footnote: 1 Or: confute, or prove them wrong.} 3 For there shall be a time when they shall not bear sound teaching, but according to their own desires, they shall heap up for themselves teachers tickling the ear, [1] {Footnote: 1 Isaiah 30:10, Jeremiah 5:31, Romans 16:18} 4 and they shall indeed turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to myths.
      {II Timothy 4:2-4}

      One day we will all have to give an account for how we lived our lives and what we did with HIS word, which is why we are told to study to show ourselves approved. One cannot truly “live HIS word” if one doesn’t know it. This is sadly where the church is at today. Just about every thing BUT his Word is taught in many churches :'(

      “Do your utmost to present yourself approved to Elohiym, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth. 16 But keep away from profane, empty babblings, for they go on to more wickedness”
      {II Timothy 2:15-16}

      I don’t know if you read or have a bible, but would encourage you to read it each day. The book of Job is a good example of “bad things happening to good people,” which Yahoveh God allowed the devil to do … to test Job. Through the loss of his 10 children IN ONE DAY, his prosperity, his friends [except 3 who were not so encouraging] and his health JOB REMAINED FAITHFUL and after received a double portion blessing for his faithfulness. I have a scripture page and share various good teachers and other thoughts from time to time. If you are interested you are welcome to join and learn.

      Praying for a change of heart and the hurt you’ve received to be removed. Remember we are a part of the problem, if we are not a part of the solution ;)

      Reply
  38. Welcome to “outside”. The freedom to minister to the person in front of you without man-made “should’s” and “shant’s” is rejuvenating and scary, exhilarating and intimidating, and there is NOTHING like it!

    Reply
  39. Saw this post on FB and I have to say that I agree with your assessment of the local American church. It has been discouraging to see so much in the common American church that seems so far from what God established the church to be. As a matter of fact, I find that many of our churches have been following traditions and religious forms of worship rather than the Spirit of God. I can’t speak for all churches obviously but the ones I have and still serve in break my heart with the lack of love and selflessness that you would expect of a freed soul in Christ. I can’t hide from this revelation in my heart but I choose to stay and do what I can to be led by the Spirit to help restore the focus of the church. That focus first and foremost is falling completely madly in Love with God. If the church can let go of everything for a moment and strive for this, I believe the rest will follow correctly. A lot of the time churches try to work on the outside of the cup before the inside and we all end up following that trend. My prayer is that my pastor will see these issues as well as I continue to serve and hope for revival. If God told you to leave then there is no question of what you should do. If not, I think you could help change the direction of the church. Thank you for sharing and God bless and guide you… Sean

    Reply
  40. I do see what you are talking about. My husband and I are on internship for his mdiv…we have seen these flaws and more and been bothered. But the conclusion that we believe we always rightly come to is this, “The ministry and church will never be perfect because people are far from perfect and we need to accept that. The ’cause’ of our decision to work in the ministry far out-weighs the flaws we have seen.”
    In my eyes, you quit. You went into the ministry with a twisted picture of it’s reality and the moment you started seeing it’s flaws and saying to yourself “this isn’t what I wanted, it’s not worth it” you quit. It sounds to me like you probably were never called into the ministry in the first place, which is fine. However, your reasons for quitting sound selfish and childish. I do understand where you are coming from in the article, believe me, I think on all these things and more from time to time, but serving God far greater surpasses the flaws in ministry. Only in Heaven, will things be perfect. And until then, my husband and I will keep our eyes focused on God and remind ourselves that we are serving God first and our family second and the people third. Those are our priorities and they help us stay in reality and perspective in the ministry. When working in the church, no matter if it’s missions, pastoring, counselling, or leading the youth, we are serving God and not the congregation…but God. If we leave because of things done by the people then we were serving the people instead of God. It’s always about God. Anything we do, it’s to be for Him first.

    Reply
    • Amber, I don’t know you or the author of the article. You evidently don’t know him either, but that hasn’t stopped you from judging him. You are at the starting blocks of a race, not a finished runner; you don’t truly understand where he’s coming from, but think you do.

      Here’s some stats for you: only 1 out of 10 pastors actually retires from the pastorate; the other 90% “quit” (that’s the word you used) long before retirement age. Half of all pastors are so discouraged by ministry they would leave if they had some other source of income. Over 70% of pastors and spouses of pastors admit they struggle with depression on a weekly (in some cases daily) basis.

      Are these all failures? Would you say to all these (as you did to this author) ” It sounds to me like you probably were never called into the ministry in the first place”? Has it ever occurred to you that you, personally, may be one of those statistics in five or ten years? Zeal and starry-eyed ambition will only carry a person so far.

      The Church is flawed, yes – a simple reading of 1 Corinthians will confirm that – but the American church has some unique flaws Americans bring to it from their own cultural baggage. Those things need to be addressed, or the dysfunctional system will continue to burn out or chew up and spit out pastor after pastor after pastor (and plenty of non-clergy as well).

      Reply
    • Amber … Perhaps you owe him an apology? He is still serving God and in the ministry [although the title is misleading and he acknowledges that] … just not under the “man made dogma’s, doctrines, and traditions of men.
      Your comment is not very nice and rather harsh … which sadly, is what one gets in the church these days :'( Where is the love?
      I am glad that you point out that IT IS ABOUT GOD AND ONLY GOD NOT SERVING MAN … which is truly the way it should be, because too many people are “man pleasers.”

      Reply
      • Cyndie…What, in typical church settings, constitutes the “man made dogma’s, doctrines, and traditions of men?”

        Reply
        • Adam this is a very short answer to a LONG question, as I do not have a lot of time to elaborate right now. And when I say “church” I mean the entire system in general. HE IS ONE GOD … not 38,000 denominations [and still splitting] ;)

          “Hear, O Yisra’ĕl: יהוה [Yahoveh] our Elohiym [Mighty One, Power, God], יהוה [Yahoveh] is one! 5 “And you shall love יהוה [Yahoveh] your Elohiym [Mighty One, Power, God] with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might. 6 “And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart, 7 and you shall impress them upon your children, and shall speak of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up, 8 and shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 “And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
          {Deuteronomy 6:4-9}

          So with that said … the first thing is that anything the “church” teaches that does not line up with HIS Word, which is alot …
          what most people do not realize nor teach [and I speak from experience, as I left Catholicism in search of truth and have been in every mainline denomination] is that Messiah and HIS taught ones [disciples] taught in the Hebrew Tanahk, what we know as our OT, every Shabbat [Sabbath in Greek]. The NT books were not written until 20 years after HIS ascension … at the earliest starting with the book of James, brother to Messiah, up to 120 years later. Additionally, the NT as it is called in America was written to the 10 Northern Tribes aka the “lost sheep of the house of Israel,” who were out of covenant. Our Messiah says he came for the Lost sheep of the House of Israel FIRST … and when Paul spent over 10 years trying to reach them and they wouldn’t listen … then he went out to the nations. Now one must remember that gentiles were being grafted in all along … just like father Abraham one has a choice to “cross over “Hebrew” to the One TRUE Elohiym [Mighty One, Power, God] of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This has happened all along, which is why Galatians 3 reiterated Exodus saying there is one “Torah [Hebrew word for DIVINE instruction, direction, law] for native and sojourner alike.
          “There is one Torah for the native-born and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”
          {Exodus 12:49}
          Now … THIS DOES NOT SAVE US … IT MEARLY POINTS OUT THE SIN IN OUR LIVES and SHOWS US WHERE WE ARE “MISSING THE MARK.”

          The 4th commandment says remember the Shabbat [7th] day and keep it Holy. The catholic church changed this and it is documented in their church teachings that the pope as Christ’s vicar on earth has the authority to do so. Protestant churches followed in the footsteps of Catholicism. In the first thru 3rd centuries A.D. anyone caught keeping “Jewish” ways … Shabbat, dietary laws, feasts were violently murdered. This is well documented in the Ecumenical Books of the RCC.

          The church keeps pagan traditions … not his feasts [The Hebrew word is Moed “Appointed times”] … which are all listed in Leviticus 23 and Numbers 29. It lays out all of “HIS APPOINTED TIMES that HE has chosen to meet with HIS Kids “FOREVER THROUGHOUT YOUR GENERATIONS.” Not to get into a long argument on this issue … but what was done away with was:

          1. The sacrificial system. We no longer slaughter bulls and lambs to atone for our sins. HIS precious blood is now our saving grace with our faith and obedience to HIM.
          “For Messiah has not entered into a Set-apart Place made by hand – figures of the true – but into the heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of Elohiym [Mighty One, Power, God] on our behalf, 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters into the Set-apart Place year by year with blood not his own. 26 For if so, He would have had to suffer often, since the foundation of the world. But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the offering of Himself. 27 And as it awaits men to die once, and after this the judgment, 28 so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to those waiting for Him, unto deliverance.” {Hebrews 9:24-28}

          2. The Levitical priesthood [flesh] was turned over to Malkitsedeq [spiritual], which ironically is a Hebrew word that was not transliterated … and has the meaning ̱Malki =our KING / tsedeq = RIGHTEOUSNESS. And we know that HE IS THE KING of kings, and LORD of lords … AND HE sits at the right hand of the Father constantly making intercession for us.

          3. HIS Rauch Ha Kodesh [Holy Spirit] was given FREELY to all who believe and walk in obedience. Prior to this HIS Holy Spirit could come and go like it did with King Saul.

          There is so much more I could write … but I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO TRULY BE A BEREAN AND SEEK OUT THE TRUTH … IT’S TRULY RIGHT THERE IN PLAIN SIGHT :)

          “Seek יהוה [Yahoveh] while He is to be found, call on Him while He is near. 7 Let the wrong forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Let him return to יהוה, who has compassion on him, and to our Elohiym [Mighty One, Power, God], for He pardons much. 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares יהוה. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
          {Isaiah 55:6-9}

          “Thus said יהוה [Yahoveh], “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and find rest for yourselves. But they said, ‘We do not walk in it.’
          {Jeremiah 6:16}

          “Remember this, and show yourselves men; turn it back, you transgressors. 9 “Remember the former events of old, for I am Ěl [God], and there is no one else – Elohiym [Mighty One, Power, God], and there is no one like Me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning, and from of old that which has not yet been done, saying, ‘My counsel does stand, and all My delight I do,’
          {Isaiah 46:8-10}

          Now remember that the Messiah came to do the will of HIS Father “TEACH HIS COMMANDS” and spoke in parables … not for everyone to understand, but those who had HIS Spirit ;)

          “יהושע [Yahushua “Jesus”] answered him, “If anyone loves Me, he shall guard My Word. And My Father shall love him, and We shall come to him and make Our stay with him. 24 “He who does not love Me does not guard My Words. And the Word which you hear is not Mine but of the Father Who sent Me. 25 “These Words I have spoken to you while still with you.”
          {John 14:23-25}

          AND>>>> HIS WORD TELLS US HE DOES NOTHING WITHOUT REVEALING IT TO HIS SERVANTS, WHO HE NOW CALLS HIS FRIENDS.

          “For the Master יהוה [Yahoveh] does no matter unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”
          {Amos 3:7}

          “And יהוה [Yahoveh] said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing,
          18 since Abraham is certainly going to become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 “For I have known him, so that he commands his children and his household after him, to guard the way of יהוה [Yahoveh], to do righteousness and right-ruling, so that יהוה brings to Abraham what He has spoken to him.”
          {Genesis 18:17-19}

          Reply
          • Here are two great teachings [the other will follow in the next comment]
            The first summerizes your Holy Scriptures called Identity Crisis:

            You will want to sit with your Bible in hand and the pause button … as there is so much great information in this video for those who are truly seeking HIS TRUTH ;)

            http://jim-staley.podomatic.com/player/web/2010-09-24T15_09_58-07_00

          • And the second is a historical look at where “the Christian traditions” come from. What most people don’t know is that Christmas was OUTLAWED in America until President Ulysses S. Grant made a declaration in the late 1800’s :'(

            Remember HE HATES IT WHEN WE MIX HIS HOLY with the world’s profane. we are commanded to be in the world, but not of it. Right now there is very little in the church that is not in the world and I believe this is breaking the Fathers heart … which is why we are told in Revelation 18:4 “And I heard another voice from the heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. [1] {Footnote: 1 Jeremiah 51:6 & 45} 5 “Because her sins have piled up to reach the heaven, and Elohiym [Mighty One, Power, God] has remembered her unrighteousnesses. 6 “Render to her as she indeed did render, and repay her double according to her works. In the cup which she has mixed, mix for her double.”

            The average person will say “This is not what it means to me” but seriously … just look around … there is VERY LITTLE MESSIAH and a WHOLE LOT OF SANTA, PRESENTS, EASTER BUNNY, PRESENTS … you get the idea :) One often says “My heart means well, but HIS Word tells us otherwise.

            “The heart is crooked1 above all, and desperately sick – who shall know it?”
            {Jeremiah 17:9}

            http://jim-staley.podomatic.com/entry/2010-10-03T07_05_00-07_00

          • Drew Carey in this short 2 minute clip pretty much says it all …

          • Hi Cyndie!

            Thank you so much for spending as much time on this as you already have. I am certain that this is no small undertaking, and I am thrilled that you have chosen to more deeply explore the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. Christians can learn a great deal by studying Hebrew, and the cultural assumptions about all that exists within the Old Testament.

            I do have a further question that I’m hoping you can clarify for me.

            1. You write, “The catholic church changed this and it is documented in their church teachings that the pope as Christ’s vicar on earth has the authority to do so. Protestant churches followed in the footsteps of Catholicism. In the first thru 3rd centuries A.D. anyone caught keeping “Jewish” ways … Shabbat, dietary laws, feasts were violently murdered. This is well documented in the Ecumenical Books of the RCC.”

            Seeing as how the Scriptures we all cite in common were not “canonized” until the Third Council of Carthage (397), can we really trust that we have a pure canon? It appears that you believe the church was entirely lost far earlier than the canonization process, as Jewish ways were violently ripped apart from the church. If that same catholic church canonized the text we have, can we even really trust that we have a pure text to cite?

            In a phrase, I’m not sure how one gets at interpretive authority in restorationist movements. The text one uses to criticize the early 3-4th century church is text that was canonized by the 3-4th century church. What does a person do with that in a Messianic context?

            Again, thank you so much for the time you spent working on this response. I appreciate your work, and YOU! :)

            Many blessings,
            Adam

          • Oh! One other question. If God can sanctify sinners, why can He not also sanctify formerly pagan holidays? Certainly the work of transforming a broken human person into a beacon of His light and holiness is a far greater task than infusing a tree with Christian symbolism. No??? :)

            Many blessings,
            Adam

          • Shalom Adam [Peace]
            I will try to answer your questions, but am not totally sure I understand what you are asking.

            I think the first thing I need to clarify, especially with all the confusion out there within the “Messianic/Hebrew Roots” movement, which I am not a part of … I am just someone who is simply a believer in the ONE TRUE Elohiym [Mighty One, Power, God] of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ~ who sent HIS ONE and only beloved Son to the world so that through HIM the world would not be condemned but have eternal life :)

            Religion [man’s control] has always done so much damage throughout the ages :'( and the devil knows the word better than any of us. He knows just how to twist things and cause division and confusion. He is out seeking, destroying, and killing [physically and spiritually] like never before.

            As far as the canonization it’s a mess. The Catholic Bible has 6 additional books that the “King James” Bible does not have. These books definitely add value and history, so I’m not sure how they were left out. From my studies, it is my understanding that the Rabbi’s have many “ancient books” that we do not have. The “original battle was the Jewish Rabbi’s not wanting to let the gentiles in” thus not wanting to share their secrets.” I am slowly seeing the “two sticks become one in HIS hand, as Ezekiel 37 prophesied. The language barriers are being broken and the Hebrew Language has been restored just like Zephania 3:9 said would happen :)
            “For then I shall turn unto the peoples a clean tongue [language], so that they all call on the Name of יהוה [Yahoveh], to serve Him with one accord.”
            Due to a number of circumstances [or perhaps one could say divine interventions] I started a serious study of HIS word in 1995 sitting with the KJB and my Catholic Bible and comparing everything I read … literally “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little there a little.” I also had my Strongs concordance to assist in this journey. Then in 2006, Yahoveh laid it in my heart to learn the original language my Holy Scriptures were written in “Hebrew” [which I am still continuing to do so and have by no means mastered it, but HE has put scholars from Israel in my path to answer any questions I may have]. It is also interesting that around the time I had the desire to learn Hebrew is about the same time many others had the same desire … HE IS ORCHASTRATING HIS PLAN and I have been very blessed as I watch unfold, as prophecy upon prophecy are being met, almost at a daily rate and there are not many left to go before HIS triumphant return :)

            I do know that the Books of Enoch [referred to in Jude] and Jasher
            [referenced in the KJB Joshua 10:13 /II Samuel 1:18] were taken out and this had to do with the Rabbi’s. I own both of these books that have been transliterated from the original Hebrew into English in the 1,800’s. When ever I study anything I always sit with my Bible in hand and my Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon [Dictionary].
            From my personal experience I find both these books add great value and understanding. Jasher chronicles Genesis and part of Exodus … it’s like a hand would fit in a glove. There are places in Jasher [Sefir Yashar in Hebrew, which means the Book of the Straight or righteous] that we glean more information that fills in some of the blanks when you read Genesis and Exodus and visa versa.
            Enoch has some pretty wild things in it, but it totally makes sense when you read it and it lines up with many of the Psalms, Daniel, Revelation and other books . When I read it, I personally believe it adds some information about the “end of days,” … I have been wanting to re-read this book for the past couple of years, but leant it out and don’t remember to who at the moment.
            There are several books referenced in the Holy Scriptures and some of them I am still trying to track down. I have found the book of Nathan … but haven’t had a chance to study it out yet. The book of Iddo the seer would be very interesting too, as this was Isaiah the prophets father and I believe he was also a High Priest.

            These are just a few of the references to other books in our Holy Scriptures.
            “Therefore it is said in the Book of the Battles of יהוה [Yahoveh], “Wahĕb in Suphah, the wadi Arnon”
            {Numbers 21:14}

            “And the rest of the acts of Shelomoh [Solomon], all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Shelomoh?”
            {I Kings 11:41}

            And they buried him, and all Yisra’ĕl lamented for him, according to the word of יהוה which He spoke through His servant Ahiyahu the prophet.
            { I Kings 14:18; 15:31; 16:5 &14 & 20 & 27 &39; 22:45; II Kings 8:23; 12:19 … these are just a few places as there are many more mentioned}

            “And the rest of the acts of Rehabʽam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the sovereigns of Yehudah [Judah]?”
            { I Kings 14:29; 15:7 & 23; II Kings 1:18; 10:34; 13:8 & 12 … these are just a few places as there are many more mentioned}

            “And the acts of Sovereign David, first and last, see, they are written in the book of Shemu’ĕl [Samuel] the seer, in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer”
            {I Chronicles 29:29}

            “And the rest of the acts of Yehoshaphat, the first and the last, see, they are written in the book of Yĕhu son of Hanani, which is mentioned in the book of the sovereigns of Yisra’ĕl.”
            {II Chronicles 20:34}

            With that being said … I do not doubt the Holy Scriptures, but I challenge “mans” transliterations of them. Again the problem goes back to “jealousy” which the Holy Scriptures told us would happen. We also know brother Judah has been blinded for a time “As it has been written, “יהוה [Yahoveh] has given them a spirit of deep sleep, eyes not to see and ears not to hear, unto this day,” because they killed the prophets that were sent to them and would not listen [Romans 11]. And Isaiah the prophet also told us this would occur “For יהוה [Yahoveh] has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes, the prophets. And He has covered your heads, the seers. 11 And the entire vision is to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men give to one who knows books, saying, “Read this, please.” And he said, “I am unable, for it is sealed.” 12 And the book is given to one who does not know books, saying, “Read this, please.” And he said, “I have not known books.” 13 And יהוה [Yahoveh] says, “Because this people has drawn near with its mouth, and with its lips they have esteemed Me, and it has kept its heart far from Me, and their fear of Me has become a command of men that is taught [1]! {Footnote: 1 Matthew 15:8-9, Mark 7:6-7} 14 “Therefore, see, I am again doing a marvelous work among this people, a marvelous work and a wonder. And the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their clever men shall be hidden.”

            I hope this helps to answer your question. I by no means have this all figured out, but have been “swimming in the deep end of the pool” if you will, for quite some time now.

            I don’t know if you are on FB … but I started a little page a little while ago to share weekly scripture readings showing how the OT and NT go hand in hand along with various Scriptural Teachers. I do not post anything I haven’t listened to and confirmed against the scripture. If you are interested you can look up “Seeking Truth in The WAY, The TRUTH, and The LIFE” and like the page. I believe HIS word commands these two points:
            “Iron is sharpened by iron, And a man sharpens the face of his friend.”
            {Proverbs 27:17}

            “It is the glory of Elohiym [Mighty One, Power God] to hide a matter, And the glory of sovereigns to search out a matter.”
            {Proverbs 25:2}

            And we know per I Peter that HE designed us to be a royal priesthood and a set-apart nation ;)

            “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light, 10 who once were not a people, but now the people of Elohiym; who had not obtained compassion, but now obtained compassion.”
            {I Peter 2:9-10 which comes directly from Exodus 19; Deuteronomy 10; Isaiah 61:1 and many other places in Isaiah }

            NOW … for the last question … HE HAS HIS APPOINTMENTS and man has changed those … this means when we follow the world we are in rebellion to HIS ways. I do not tell anyone what to do, but share truth and say pray and ask HIM to reveal this to you :)
            Remember … all throughout our Holy Scriptures it tells us “How to be Holy and Set apart unto HIM … HIS RULES NOT MINE … but again … THIS IS NOT A SALVATION ISSUE [other than not keeping HIS Shabbat] … but I believe it does affect our rewards. Yahushau “Jesus” tells us a little parable in Luke 12 about the “servants who HE gave 1,5, & 10 talents to”
            “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, shall find watching. Truly, I say to you that he shall gird himself and make them sit down to eat, and shall come and serve them. 38 “And if he comes in the second watch, or in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39 “And know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief comes, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40 “And you, then, be ready, for the Son of Adam is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

            ***THE CHURCH WILL NOT BE READY WHEN HE COMES, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT WALKING IN HIS WAYS … WHICH MEANS THAT HE WILL COME AT A TIME [Yom Teruah “Sounding of the Shofar/Trumpet] THEY DO NOT EXPECT ***

            Here is a VERY brief recap of “His Appointed times” as laid out in Leviticus 23 and Numbers 29:

            HIS whole plan of redemption is found in Leviticus 23. These feasts are the blueprint. They do not save you by worshipping them [because there are people who can worship the feasts] … They are Yahoveh’s feasts for all of Israel [not just the Jewish people “Judah” which is one of the 12 tribes that make up Israel] … they are HIS appointed times! They are not mine, yours, nor the Jewish or Christian people … BUT HIS! They belong to Yahoveh Elohiym [Mighty One, Power, God] of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and if you belong to HIM … then they [the feasts] belong to you!!! And the feasts are all about bringing HIM GLORY!!! We don’t worship Yahoveh for what HE is going to give us … we worship HIM because of HIS great name!!!

            Here is a “quickie” highlight of “HIS Appointed times:”

            Passover = death [Lamb slain before the foundations of the world Revelation 13:8]
            Feast of Unleavened bread = Burial. The moment HE shed HIS blood, died, and was placed in the ground you were forgiven HalleluYAH!!!
            Feast of First Fruits = Resurrection [Do not touch me I have not yet ascended to MY Father John 20:17]. When He rose from the grave that only proved what HE already did!
            Counting of the Omer [Days] = Seven Shabbats 49 days and the 50th was Shavout aka Pentecost = sends the Rauch HaKodesh [Holy Spirit]. This is the same day 1,200 years earlier that Moses was on top of Mount Sinai to receive the 10 Commandments [חק chôq: statute, ordinance, limit, something prescribed [limit, boundary, ] enactment, decree, ordinance, due, law in general, 1g1) conditions, 1g4) civil enactments prescribed by God] or the entire covenant was given. But the people wanted a mediator between them and Yahoveh. So they lost the opportunity for the Rauch HaKodesh [Holy Spirit] [JS: Coincidently?!? 100 years for each of the 12 tribes!] He is looking for those who will worship HIM in spirit and in truth [John 4:23-24]! Connecting those 1,200 years into one day!

            Now we are waiting for the fall feasts to be fulfilled, which will be done at HIS second coming … Let us see what they represent. This should excite and energize you to learn more about your Savior and you will be shocked that you haven’t learned this in the past. We MUST KNOW THE TRUTH and it WILL SET YOU FREE:

            Yom Teruah “Day of Blowing” = It’s the beginning of the HIGH Holy days of the Fall Feasts. This is the only holiday that doesn’t have a Biblical name. It was just called “the blowing” [of shofar/trumpets]. This is when HE is coming back to the nation of Israel. They will see and mourn [Zechariah 12:10 13:1 Open store house, waters will cleanse them and there will be remission of sins. 14:9 He will tabernacle among us as the KING of all kings and LORD of all lords!] Does “at the sound of the ram’s horn or trumpet sound familiar [I Corinthians 15:51-53]?!?
            Yom Kippur “Day of Atonement” = Day of Atonement “Redemption,” which comes 10 days after Yom Teruah: “HE will judge the nations”:

            • “Truly, then, having overlooked these times of ignorance, Elohiym [Mighty One, Power, God] now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has set a day on which He is going to judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom He has appointed,1 having given proof of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” {Footnote: 1See 10:42}.
            {Acts 17:30-31}

            • “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. See, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, in order to try you, and you shall have pressure ten days. Be trustworthy until death, and I shall give you the crown of life.”
            {Revelation 2:10}

            The feast of Sukkot [aka Tabernacles / Booth “Rejoicing which is when HE came the first time … because he “Tabernacled / dwelt with us” and there is coming a day really soon that HE will Tabernacle with us again for 1,000 years!!!!! This is known as the millennial period. A day is like a thousand years … it is on the “7th” day that HE will dwell with HIS people again. This is also the feast that you celebrate with joy for “7” days. This is done with food and drink … can you see the “marriage supper of the lamb?”

            Then the final celebration is called the “Eighth and great day,” which I personally after years of study believe this to be eternity. IT IS FINISHED and everything has been restored as it was in the beginning in the Garden of Eden [Hebrew for Pleasure “Garden of Pleasure”]

            I hope this answers the questions you were asking. As we all continue to dig deeper together and let our iron sharpen each others iron I believe even “more mysteries” will be solved. It is good when brethren dwell in unity ;)

  41. WOW people! I had to go back and read the original post by Sean to see what he REALLY said! I think some of you need to reread it as well. Sean is simply answering questions others have had about HIS decision, HIS insight, HIS calling. He’s not wrong in his observations – especially since they are of HIS experiences in the church(s) he’s been a part of. I don’t feel he bashed any church – which by the way is – US – WE are the church…we should all take a good hard look at how we are fulfilling God’s will for us in His service, and often! Sean included serving in a church as one of the things he and his family will be doing on his new path…he’s not abandoning it.

    I love the pastor of our church, who has a job outside the church in order to make ends meet. I love our associate pastor – who made the decision to do ministry in another place, outside the church structure. Our pastor and most of our congregation fully supports this guy, both financially and with mission trips to help him get stuff set up. God’s work is EVERYWHERE and he needs ALL of us to do it. One of the posts here was dead on – church BEGINS when we leave the parking lot! Whether you serve as a paid “minister” or not – we ALL have a job to do. So let’s love more, judge less, pray for Sean and each other as God leads us each to do our part! Let’s spread the word about the perfect love of Jesus – He’s the only hope we have!

    Reply
    • My grandchildren go to a Lutheran school and on the exits to the parking lot there are signs that says, “you are entering the mission field.” Heard a Charles Stanley sermon last night, the main points being we are to 1. Know Him
      2. Obey HIm…to obey is to love Him, and 3. we are to share Him ———-Which brings to my mind that we are all preachers in a sense and if we are in love with Jesus, and strive to obey Him, and truly want to share Him with a hurting world…then we are all on the same page: we are the church, the body of Christ and can never leave the church, but only change locations and areas of service and witness.

      Reply
  42. Thank you Lolasmyname for bringing the comments back to what was said in the original post by an individual who was relating his experience. It was good to see encourgement from those who have had their own experiences and have prospered spiritually through recognizing the commercialization that has come about more and more. For example the Southern Baptist Convention now collects twelve billion dollars a year, almost all of which goes to buidings, member programs, staff salaries, a very large administrative structure. Now, the commercialization has always been as leaven. For example, the temple in Jerusalem was a den of theives. Today, I know of many who are motivated by and comfortable with the perks of being “in the ministry” such as all expenses related in any way to housing becoming tax free income, and other perks.

    Yes there are quotes that say the ox that treads out the grain is worthy of sharing. And right after that it is written, those who preach the gospel are to be content with food and clothing, as their share, wages – just as the direct desciples of Jesus were – take no money bag or second cloak. The second part used to be included. As the years go by, I hear that less and less. Now Jesus set an example when he washed the desciples feet. Not that foot washing was to be a ritual, rather he took to role of the lowest household slave. He said do not lord it over others, do not have titles, do not be hypocritical. Let us encourge one another to follow His words.

    Reply
  43. Congratulations. You are now leaving the “system” God hated when twice in Revelation He said He hated the doctrines and deeds of the Nicolaitans. The Church system we see today started from these roots. Praise the Most High for this revelation in your life. Be prepared for the “church” and its members to turn their back on you in this process. It is worth it for a proper relationship with the Father and Son.

    Reply
    • The real church will never turn its back on you unless you are in blatant sin and flatly refuse to repent. The false church absolutely will turn its back on you especially when you truly begin to “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness”.

      “be ye separate and come out from among them”

      Reply
    • It doesn’t look like he left “the system.” Check his article on “why I’m not leaving the church.”

      Reply
  44. My sentiments exactly.

    In the last two years, we started a fellowship with a very simplistic approach to church. Our Phase A, B, and C is to know Christ and love others. That’s it. It’s been the best 2 years of my ministry. I have had to sacrifice some trappings and endure a little consternation from family and friends for the change, but we find that truth seekers are hungry for this type of change.

    Thanks for the article. Would love to talk to you some time.

    Raymond Force
    http://www.HittingHomeMinistry.com

    Reply
  45. Jason, I am so happy to hear about the clarity God has given you for your next phase of ministry.

    A sober assessment of the Church as Jesus described it vs the institution of the Church is always necessary, as we know from world history!

    What we don’t see in our typical Church routines that is unholy is most concerning to me. I look forward to your helping me and others keep this important issue top-of-mind. I am praying for His blessings over your faithful next steps…

    Reply
  46. you are still too young my friend. You’re opinions are still changing and they will continuetochange. I am sorry for your obvious discontentment. How does your wife feel about this move? I have been encouraged by those men who have learned to live by the Greatest Commandment from the heart. Those who have come to understand grace. Those who truly know that life is not about them but about Jesus. Frankly, I am not convinced that the church is a good fit for you Four years in a Bible College prepares you for nothing. Seven years in the ministry qualifies you to speak with little to no authority on anything.

    Reply
  47. I had a similar crisis, and went Roman Catholic. It’s worth giving it a look. Many of the problems you are struggling are corrected by the gigantic unity of it all. Nothing is perfect, but I’ve found it to be better.

    Reply
  48. Dang! There are a lot of comments here. No need to reply. I won’t check back. Just wanted you to know that I left the ministry after four years and got a “real” job. Working for a gas station, baby!!!

    Seriously, I loved my time there. God used me. And I grew up A LOT!

    I’ve been back working for churches for over 10 years now but I really REALLY appreciated my time away.

    It was good for my soul. A soul that need humbling and a taste of real life.

    You leaving professional ministry, honestly, ins’t a big deal. Lots of people take time away. some guys never go back. Some people do. I remember when I left I thought it was HUGE. Then I realized. oh yeah, life goes on. Real friends don’t care. I’m taking care of my family. God is good.

    so bless you!

    Reply
  49. Thanks for sharing your story. This is a journey that I myself am familiar with and so are many of my friends. I want to affirm you in your next steps and wish you all the best in what lies ahead for you.

    Reply
    • Thank you Adam … how long have you been walking in this way? That is so cool! HE is calling HIS kids out and asking us to follow, just like father Abraham did, in faith :)
      Blessings to you and yours

      Reply
  50. I understand what you are saying, and understand this is a trend now (just as going into ministry probably was). This is what God has called you to do individually. However, I have seen The Lord move in mighty ways through the church the past 14 years we have been in “vocational ministry”. I have always felt humbled and grateful to be able to do what we do. I agree we need to be very careful to check our hearts and motives.
    I whole-heatedly believe in the church.
    God loves the church, I love the church, and I am so grateful to be part of it.
    Sorry for your bad personal experience. Thankful that our church doesn’t feel like this at all… God has been gracious with pure-hearted, praying, humble men in the lead where we serve.
    This was very discouraging to read.
    I hope a particular crowd only reads this – and not anyone who has encountered The Lord during a worship service, through a small group community, or through a “vocational” pastor…. It may take a piece of them… Doubting their love for Christ’s church or becoming cynical.

    Reply
  51. Enjoy the journey, brother!

    Reply
  52. Your article about leaving the “ministry” sounds just like my husband who recently resigned as pastor.

    Reply
  53. I resonate with your lament.

    Yet, God has called me to minister in this environment. He is also continually showing and reminding me that this is His church in which He is moving and even blessing.

    You state, “the reality is, I can no longer handle the ‘professionalism’ of the church. I’m tired of running a non-profit incorporation that calls itself a church.”

    But in another article, “Why I’m not Leaving the Church,” you indicate you will be a part of Summit Crossing Community Church – http://www.summitcrossing.org.
    In checking out the website, it seems this church is the epitome of everything you’re trying to get out of…and there’s the somewhat unavoidable rub.

    In theory, you should try to find a more “organic,” house-church-based community, with no professional trappings. But, even this kind of church may be forced to face some “professionalism” issues: Who’s going to share/teach scripture (someone will rise to this who has the gift)? Who’s going to lead worship (who’s got the guitar?)? How do you minister to the babies and children? What space do you meet in and is it adequate? How are the bills paid? Who handles the finances? How do you handle benevolence needs that come up?…and on and on.

    Where I’m at: heed John Piper, “Gentlemen, we are not professionals,” allow the Lord, through Scripture and others like you to challenge the church to the Lord’s ideals, yet realize the Lord is working in and through this “professional” environment and be careful with “throwing the baby out with the bath.”

    Reply
  54. Hey Adam,

    That’s great man!!!! Just because you don’t work at a church doesn’t mean you can’t Love God and Love People. That’s really all he has called us to do anyway. Churches and RELIGION completely have skewed what God has really called us to do. Good luck man!!!!!

    Reply
  55. Praise God Jason is following God and his word, not the traditions of men. God never has called anyone to never work in the marketplace. The marketplace is always part of ministry. Acts 20; 1 Cor 9 the whole chapter, 2 thes. 3; 2 Cor 11 etc..Paul would “rather die” than get paid by those he was ministering to. God never asked for his people to get a hired Bible lecture every week of their life till they die.. The “habit of meeting” they are not to “forsake” is spurring one another on to love and good works” and “encouraging one another” Heb 10:24,25. The bride of Christ will be perfect one day. He wants us to clean her up. We have too many twisted scriptures justifying our self-centeredness. Professionalism forces believers to consume 75-85% of their “giving” to buy goodies for themselves. That’s now pooling not giving.

    Reply
  56. Good for you Jason!

    I left ministry two years ago–a process that took over a decade to actualize. Within six months of my ordination I knew that I had taken a wrong turn on my career path. However, as you said, I felt like I couldn’t do anything else. Studies indicate that one out of every two ministers feels the same–they would leave if they felt they could do something else. Fact is that clergy have an incredible array of transferable skills that can be utilized in so many different contexts, but often lack the vision and courage to leave ministry because it’s “the devil they know.”

    Btw, I noticed quickly that once I started getting paid for doing the very things I would have done and did do for free in the church prior to my ordination, something started to die within. Naturally, I needed a livelihood for my family and I, but when the “calling” became a “job” I knew it was just a matter of time before I’d leave. Like other “jobs” I found myself only praying, studying, meditating on scripture, etc. when I was on the clock. Yup, sad, but that became the reality. When I wasn’t working, I began to avoid these things as they were so closely associated with “work” in a job that I could only conduct within the shadows of integrity.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Why I’m Not Leaving The Church | Savage Heartburn - […] You can read my first post on “Why I’m Leaving The ‘Ministry’” here. […]
  2. One Man’s Greener Grass - […] Savage’s recent explanation of his decision to leave parish based ministry is an excellent example of […]
  3. Rooted: (How Not to) Rage Against the Machine | The Antioch Session - […] with my close friend and fellow missional minister Scott Emery. A couple weeks ago, we both read an article …
  4. Rooted: (How Not to) Rage Against the Machine - […] and fellow missional ministers Scott Emery and Chris Morton. A couple weeks ago, Scott and I read an article by …
  5. Rooted: (How Not to) Rage Against the Machine | The Antioch Session - […] and fellow missional ministers Scott Emery and Chris Morton. A couple weeks ago, Scott and I read an article by …
  6. Bob Coy Scandal And How ‘Moral Failure’ Language Hurts The Church | Shattered Magazine - […] a former pastor myself who left “vocational” ministry to pursue a different vision of what the church could be, …

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