Why Are Pastors Leaving Churches So They Can Pastor?

Collin Hansen | January 28, 2016


By objective measures Russ Ramsey excelled as a pastor. As the preaching pastor of a Nashville church, he had seen the congregation grow from one to three services in five years. Attendance jumped from 180 to about 700. And Ramsey loved the challenge. The church was situated in one of Nashville’s trendiest neighborhoods. Students from nearby Vanderbilt University mingled with urban creatives for weekly worship in a 1908 white brick steepled church. You couldn’t assume voting patterns. You couldn’t assume spiritual maturity. You couldn’t even assume the most basic beliefs. Opportunities for evangelism and discipleship abounded.

So it came as a shock to much of the congregation when late last year Ramsey announced his resignation. But the reason was the bigger surprise. He wasn’t leaving because he already had another ministry job lined up. He wasn’t leaving because he was burned out. He wasn’t leaving because of conflict within the congregation. He was leaving because he wanted to be a pastor. So he could preach and teach and write and counsel. His calling hadn’t changed. But the needs of his church had.

A growing congregation is the kind of problem every pastor wants. Not many pastors overall see much if any…


To read the rest of this article, visit http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/why-are-pastors-leaving-churches-so-they-can-pastor.