When is the “Perfect Time” To Leave a Ministry?

When is a perfect time to leave?
When the ministry is failing, you are fading, and everything has dragged on too long?
Or when the ministry is healthy, competent people are in place, and you feel a call to move on?

Where is the perfect place to move to, from a long-time ministry?
Into another long-term, deep, hard-working ministry?
But then, where is the space to mourn the passing of one season into that of another?
Or is it better to move out of ministry for a time — into a season of rest, sabbatical and “normal life”?
To have space and time in which to heal, refresh, and recalibrate,
Before moving into the next ministry?

When is the perfect time to leave support?
When support drops, when there is no money left, and nobody left to call?
When desperate calls and arrangements must be made, and it takes years to dig out of the hole?
Many there are who have walked that road.
Or do we leave when support is still strong, when there are means to make a change,
and when God is calling us on?

When is the perfect time to leave a country that is clamping down on homeschoolers?
When a case is opened on your family? When they begin formally investigating your ability to parent?
Or when you still have your freedom, they have not yet flagged you, and you don’t have a case open on your family?

We are strong, and we are guided by a few principles, that we hold very dear:
1. We will not keep a ministry alive longer than it serves a purpose (or, in this case…)
2. We will not stay in a ministry longer than it needs us
3. We will not sacrifice our spiritual or physical health by continuing to do something that people think we should do, simply to save face
4. We will never cling to a ministry as a source of employment, simply because we are afraid of secular work

We are free and thinking clearly. We know that usually, people leave ministries because:
1. They found one which was “better” in some way, or
2. They are fleeing one which is failing in some way

….but we are leaving for neither reason. We are leaving because,

3. It is the perfect time to leave. It is perfect for us, and for our ministry. And it is perfect to go into a season of sabbatical, and then to look to the future

This may not make sense to some people. But that is not the most important thing. What is important is that we are 100% united as a couple — we really are! — and that we both feel very strongly that this is the right decision.

We are not compelled by anything outside of us to make this decision.
We have come to a decision together, after much thought and through deep prayer:
Many of our closest friends and mentors are also in agreement with us here:
And now we are confidently putting into motion what we believe that God is calling us to do.

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I have been a missionary. I have been a pastor. I have been to seminary. Right now, I'm all about getting healthy, and caring for my family. The healthier I get, the closer I seem to get to God. ...and life seems to make more and more sense. It's working for me. Join me on my journey, if you would like.

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