3 Warnings from a Pastor Leaving the Ministry

Scott Hollingshead | December 29, 2016

I was in seminary and had never been a pastor before. But I knew God was preparing me to become one, and my desire was to church plant. So I was overjoyed when a pastor asked me to join him in a new church close to where I lived. This was exactly what I wanted to do and seemed like the perfect opportunity.

But I had no way of knowing the most significant lesson I’d learn through that experience would be from the pastor himself. After several years of ministry, the church plant disbanded and the pastor left the ministry. He and I still kept in touch, but the communication dwindled over time. I found out he wasn’t going to church much anymore, and when I challenged him about that, he cut me out of his life.

I was shocked. We’d been so close. We were together on the battlefield, partners in the gospel, slugging it out in that start-up church. What happened? How did this happen? Were there warning signs along the way? As I look back on that experience, I’ve pulled out three lessons for pastors—warnings you could call them—from a pastor leaving the ministry:

1. Separate your ministry from

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