I’m a paid Pastor who is sure that Jesus wants me to get a different job. What job? What do you have lined up? you might ask. Truth is, I’m not too sure and nothing is lined up. Now before you applaud me for my unwavering bravery (or recklessness!), I wasn’t always as confident or bold as you may suppose. As I look back, there was a process that I had gone through to arrive at making one of the most difficult decisions in my life. I’d like to share this process with you because I believe the principles contained within may serve as an encouragement to believers everywhere who are faced with daring choices.
Now, before I go any further, I would like to make clear that I am not stepping out from my pastoral staff position due to any disqualifying sin, incompetency, or quarrel between myself and anyone else in the church. My family and I are still committed to the same local fellowship that we love dearly, Revolve Bible Church, and I am still on the pastoral team. I’m just not receiving a paycheck from my church anymore. But how did I get here?
This decision was not made overnight. It wasn’t even made over the course of several weeks. This was about a year in the making. During this time, I was wrestling with thoughts of changing careers as a desire began to increase in me to do something else full-time. This was no insignificant thing as I was familiar with the advice given by Charles Spurgeon to a room full of would-be occupational shepherds where he says:
“If any student in this room could be content to be a newspaper editor or a grocer or a farmer, or a doctor, or a lawyer, or a senator, or a king, in the name of heaven and earth, let him go his way; he is not the man in whom dwells the Spirit of God in its fullness, for a man so filled with God would utterly weary of any pursuit but that for which his inmost soul pants." 
In light of Spurgeon’s penetrating assessment, I found myself struggling with a relentless question. Is my inmost soul still panting to be a pastor on staff? It wasn’t. But nobody knew about that besides myself and the Lord. Well, why not tell anyone? Answer: Fear. I had allowed an overriding fear to pin me down each time I considered sharing it. A barrage of insecurities imprisoned me: You’ll never make it in the real world. You’ll never be able to provide for your family. You don’t have any skills or abilities that can carry over. Since my only work experience has been in the church context and a lot was on the line as it pertained to providing for my family, I buried this desire with no intention to ever dig it up. But my secret would soon find me out.
In June of 2021, our church leadership team met with representatives from IBL (Institute of Biblical Leadership), to help us with long-range planning. As we were encouraged to think long-term about the future of our roles and positions, this prompted a conversation between myself and our senior pastor.
As I was encouraged to think about where I see myself 5, 10, 15 years from now I knew that I had a decision to make. I could stay silent, remaining in my current role, or even transfer to another church that could potentially pay more, which would be the “safer” bet. But I knew enough Bible to know that silence, solitude, and secrecy together is foolish, unwise, and dangerous (Proverbs 11:14; 18:1). I knew that I had to be honest and share what was in my heart if I ever wanted to get out from under my fear that was only growing stronger.
As I began to articulate my desire to the elders and even to a representative from IBL it’s as if a release valve had opened. A weight had been lifted. I wasn’t condemned but commended for being forthright. And along with commendation, came counsel; biblical counsel that helped me head in the direction that I believe God was calling me to head in. At this point, I thought opening up would be the hardest part. I was definitely wrong.
It was tough to tell people. But I found it tougher to actually step out from my position with no job waiting for me. I feel this is what it means to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Having faith does not mean heading towards what you can see, it means heading towards what you can’t see (Hebrews 11:1). Trusting the Lord requires us to bet it all on God, taking reasonable risks with the expectation that God will come through. This is what He is truly helping me grasp for the first time as I lead my family in a direction that we don’t have figured out, but we believe that God does. Even in the midst of discomfort, there is an overwhelming sense of delight because I am leaning entirely on Him (Proverbs 3:3–5).
As I’ve been on this fresh walk of faith, my eyes have been peeled on biblical characters like Abraham who trusted God, stepping out of what was comfortable and into what was challenging, only to let God lead and provide (Genesis 17; cf. Hebrews 11:8). Abraham also taught me that when leading your family through uncertainty, sometimes it’s okay not to have all the answers/solutions immediately but to remind them that God will provide (Genesis 22:7-8). I have chosen the example of Abraham. I encourage you also to pinpoint a person in the Scriptures (or at your church) who demonstrates faith—and imitate them!
In this challenging, yet exciting new chapter of my life, I never expected to take this big of a risk. But I’m glad I did. Like Abraham, I have learned big risks demand big faith. How about you? Maybe God is calling you to truly step out in faith and bet it all on Him. If deep down you know that the Lord is calling you to take that reasonable risk, then do it. Not because of your safety, but because God will be glorified, your church and family will be edified, and the lost in your life will be evangelized. Of course, there will always be those onlookers who are a little shocked and wonder what crazy pills you’re taking! Indeed, that will be your opportunity to point them to our sovereign God who cares for His people (Matthew 6:25-33).
 C. H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2010), 28.