Since leaving the pastorate of Bethesda Baptist Church in mid-October, I've had a few queries from friends as to why I did so. Speculations abound so I want to lay those aside.
I left Bethesda because, for 6 months, I sensed God telling me that was the right thing to do. He finally convinced me in June that I needed to move on and that Bethesda needed a different pastor. There was no personal sin in my life leading to this decision. There was no problem at the church either. My departure is entirely due to the Lord's prompting just as my coming to that pastorate was solely by His prompting.
The church is in great financial shape. The people there are some of the most generous Christians I have ever known. Some of them have grown spiritually over the past few years. The total membership number has not grown but it is the Lord who gives the harvest.
This is not to say that those of us at Bethesda are perfect. Far from perfection, we each have sin in our lives which demand our daily wrestling. Some members there are fighting, suffering, and growing for the Lord. Others are sliding backwards. Some, like in most churches, are probably not saved in the first place, despite being members of the church.
Bethesda is a fairly typical Baptist church with good people. I would have stayed there until the day I died if the Lord had permitted me to do so. But that is not His will for me at this moment.
So I have left the pastorate by His hand and am now waiting to see what He has for me next.
Nothing more and nothing less!