I was finally honest with myself: I hated the ministry. I was tired of the lies, the pretending, the guilt, the expectations. I wanted out.
I'm sorry, God, I prayed. I gave it my best shot. I tried to do it in your power. It didn't work.
Ten years ago, full of zeal, my wife, Geri, and I had begun ministry with the vision to plant churches among the poor in New York City and around the world. Now, four children later, Geri was battle-weary and wanted a life, a marriage. So did I. Between the need to build the church and the feeling of responsibility for other people, I had little energy to parent my children and to enjoy Geri.
My spiritual foundation had finally been revealed for what it waswood, hay, and stubble. I limped along for years. It took depression, anger, crying, and blaming myself for every mistake in the church to push me to take a three-month sabbatical. My time away from my congregation forced me to four unpleasant conclusions about myself. But realizing them was an essential ...