My friend was telling me about his job change. He was leaving his warehouse job and signing up as a substitute teacher. He’s also enrolled in a program that teaches college grads how to teach.
It’s a very cool thing.
He said, “Now I have to tell people that I’m quitting.”
I shook my head. I started to explain the difference between quitting and resigning. “Quitting,“ I said, “has a negative feeling. It means that you don’t want to follow through, that you are abandoning a commitment, that you are taking your ball and going home.”
“Resignation is different, “ I said. And then I choked up. It took me a couple minutes to start talking again.
As I told my friend, I wasn’t emotional about his decision. I realized that I was talking about my own decision. Three days from that conversation, on November 15, I was going to stand in front of our congregation and announce my own resignation as executive pastor. And I knew that I wasn’t quitting my calling. I was resigning my job.
I’ve been in my current job for eight years. I’ve loved almost every moment of it. I’ve loved the staff and the elders I’ve worked with. I’ve learned more about leadership from my boss than he realizes. I’ve treasured the opportunity to share life and laughter and tears with people.
But I also know that I need to spend more time and energy helping younger people understand what it means to be the church in settings closer to the size of living rooms and less the size of gyms. Not that there anything wrong with churches gathering in gyms or movie theatres or auditoriums.
We just know (which is a quiet way of talking about quiet ideas from God) that the current phase of work is done and the next is coming.
Nancy likes the way that it happened for Abraham and Sarah. God told them to leave where they were and that they’d find out where they were going. We’re leaving. We’ll let you knew where we’re going.
When we find out.