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Our pastor just resigned this past Sunday based on the fact that a pastoral vote is coming up, and the Elders of the congregation were not sure that the vote would be for him to stay with us. Based on our church constitution, he needs to be there for 3 more months. What are suggestions for walking with this family during this difficult time?
Answer: This will be a difficult time for both your pastor and the congregation. I resigned from one church which required a three month stay after the resignation. What I found was that each Sunday it was like going to a funeral. The people were hurting. I was hurting. People began living in denial - I can't believe he's leaving. Three months is a long time to wait before a pastor leaves.
Since your pastor resigned under pressure (an all-too-common experience), they will need to have wounds covered by the salve of compassion and grace. Offer a shoulder to cry on. Offer to help pack belongings. Offer to take the children out while your pastor and spouse pack and clean.
Offer to bring meals over, taking the pressure of meal preparation off their shoulders. Send them notes of encouragement describing how you appreciate their ministry in your church.
But no matter how you do it, simply be there. Be available for whatever the need is for that day. It may be someone to listen. It might be a person to help pack. It might be someone to defend them in the congregation. It might be someone to offer compassion.
Be available for whatever.
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