I had the “privilege” of watching the pastor who followed me at my first pastorate preach his last sermon. I did not know until 2 days ago that he moved on to another ministry. As he continually referred to “past history” at the end of his message, I saw the signs and knew that the resignation was coming because of the typical 3-year max tenure of its pastors. I had been expecting to receive the news that he moved on.
As his resignation was wrapped quickly into the last few minutes of his sermon, I began to think about resignations. I have seen some go beautifully and some go horribly wrong. I have been a part of both.
I want to make some recommendations about resignations:
- Give proper closure. If at all possible, leave your job in such a way that they do not skip a beat without you. Make sure things are complete if you can do so.
- Save the speech about past history and attempts to defend yourself. If you feel that you have to do that, you are more than likely public on a facade of unity when you are at least leaving with bitterness in your heart. In your mind, you are thinking you are glad to get out of there and move on to “greener pastures”. Plus, people will make up their own conclusions about you anyway.
In some situations, I was not at an emotional state to continue. That pastor, no doubt, was thinking of my resignation (continually referring to past history) and how I did not divulge the deep dark secrets of what was crumbling in my home. Hence, he felt that he had to clarify that no scandal was going on in his personal life nor in his family. I was dealt a huge hit in my personal life and did not have the strength to reveal details. My resignation was necessary for my personal healing.
I know that you may be facing a situation where you are looking for another job. Try to avoid wanting to “stick it to” your current employer. I believe that we can be tactfully honest. If you have done all you can do, say it. Your reputation follows you. Better than your reputation is your character. Reputation is based on how others perceive you. Character is who you really are. God knows the real you and will bring justice to your life. Leave it to Him. He does a much better job.