"Who aspires to be demoted?!" My friend asked, only half-joking.

He wasn't the only one wondering why I, a lead pastor, wished to return to my previous role as a pastor of discipleship. Even more unusual, I wanted to be "demoted" but remain at my church.

To understand this seemingly strange desire, you have to know a little more about my journey. I began serving at my current church as pastor of discipleship in 2006, just shy of the church's third birthday. Less than a year later, when the founding senior pastor resigned abruptly, I was thrust into the role of solo lead pastor, one I filled for six years.

It's not that I couldn't hack it. My preaching was well-received, and the church grew under my leadership. But the new role left me feeling uneasy. And I couldn't shake the unrest no matter how well I seemed to be doing.

I tried everything I knew to make the shoe fit. I surrounded myself with capable advisors, and carefully cultivated ...

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