Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

March 26, 2012

Final Resignation

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Final . . . last . . . does that mean “it’s over?”  Well . . . maybe . . . perhaps!

It is a term I am using for an action taken in my life.  I have just resigned as interim pastor where I have served for 16 months.  I did not resign because the church called a pastor . . . nor did I resign because there were problems or lack of response.  None of these were the reasons for my resignation.

I resigned because of health reasons.  I have found that I cannot meet the demands of the pastorate.  The preaching I can physically handle, but I cannot provide the pastoral leadership that is needed.  When I cannot fulfill the role that I define for a pastor, I know that it is time for me to withdraw.  Preaching is only part of the task of a pastor.  Many individuals can preach, but it is the ministry of a pastor that a church needs first and foremost.

This was a very difficult decision.  Difficult because of our love for the people . . . the work God is accomplishing in the church . . . and for what this resignation means in my personal life.

It has been an extremely emotional time in our lives because of the disappointment that we cannot continue to serve the people we dearly love.  Yet, it goes beyond that.  This resignation is apparently the last resignation in my career.  Since retirement, I have served in an interim role ten times.  Now I know that I cannot function in that role any longer.  Yet, again I say, I can still preach, but not assume the responsibility of a pastor.

Being the final resignation, I am confronted with another rite of passage in life.  We come to times when we reach another plateau or point in our life where we cannot go back. That rite of passage may come because of age . . .  or health.  So, if this is a rite of passage for me, what are my thoughts?

One, it does not mean my ministry of 56 years is over.  Ministry still is performed through preaching as a guest in churches, being active in a local church, and doing ministry wherever and whenever God assigns.  Two, I must not allow certain limitations in one area to deny me of other opportunities.  There are new things to challenge . . . new opportunities that perhaps will arise that I was not expecting.  I will simply wait upon God to lead.

Yet, if opportunities do not come, my heart and mind are still geared to the ministry to which I was called.  I will always be a called minister of the gospel until the day of my death.  It will be with expectant joy that I serve until then!

Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”  (Revelation 2:10)




  1. I know this was not a decision that was easy for you to make. May God give you Grace as you take this step! Love you all!

    Comment by fcspatti — March 26, 2012 @ 9:15 pm | Reply

  2. May God bless you as you seek him in this new journey

    Comment by angela — March 27, 2012 @ 12:51 am | Reply

  3. You were there for my Mom and there for my Dad. You were there for so many family good and Hurtful times. You were there and I know are there now through so many of my dark times. I cherish
    yours and Judy’s prayers guidance and Love. The respect and I love I have for the both of you can’t
    be expressed enough. What a wonderful feeling to know I’m part of your family and to have felt close
    enough to call on you in my times of need. The GRACE you both have is so very special


    Comment by Linda — March 27, 2012 @ 11:25 am | Reply

  4. I hope that you will continue your blogs Pastor Jolly, they have meant so much to me. Love you, Doris

    Comment by Doris — March 27, 2012 @ 8:09 pm | Reply

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