Sunday, May 28, 2006

The End Is Near

It didn't go exactly like I had planned, but at the end of the worship service this morning I announced my resignation as pastor of Jackson Grove Baptist Church, effective at the end of July. I had hoped to have another position lined up before resigning, but it wasn't meant to be. I chose to go ahead and make my announcement at this time for the long-term benefit of the church, my wife, and myself. Since the first of the year I have almost resigned on three or four separate occasions, but I didn't feel the time was right until today. I actually didn't make the decision until about five minutes before the morning service. Please pray for both us and the church, especially that we can go out on a positive note.

If anyone knows of a Southern Baptist church seeking a full-time pastor, please let me know via email. I have been actively searching for nearly a year. Several churches have expressed some interest, but as of yet I don't have any really strong leads.

19 comments:

CB Scott said...

Tim,

I shall make it a matter of prayer.

cb

Hashman said...

We'll be praying for you and keeping our eyes open.

Have you checked out the tennessee baptist convention page, I remember them having a pretty good "classified" section.

Have you tried any of the churches in BG without pastors?

Are you open to bivocational or full time only?

art rogers said...

Tim,

I knew this was on your heart, but I didn't realize it was at this level.

I am praying for you. I will also keep my eyes and ears open.

Art

David Phillips said...

Tim,

If you're willing to come to Maryland/Delaware, I'll see what I can do. There are two churches about 20 minutes north of me looking, just had a pastor leave. It's a tough place to do ministry, but a great place to do ministry. I'll be in prayer for you.

Send me a resume if you're interested to wdphillips@gmail.com.

David

Wes Kenney said...

Tim,

We have several pastorless churches in our association in SE Oklahoma if you're interested. It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here...


I'll be praying for you. Isn't it good to know that God is in control?

art rogers said...

Wes,

We both know that the panhandle is the apot known to be the best viewing point for the end of the world.

SE Oklahoma is pretty close to civilization, comparatively.

Wes Kenney said...

You're just saying that because in the panhandle you can stand on the hood of your car and see Denver...

And trees do not equal civilization. It's 90 minutes to the nearest mall, and (stop reading here, kdawg) even further to the nearest Starbucks...

GuyMuse said...

How's your Spanish? Seriously, we are very much in need of someone like you and Maria? to help us with theological education for all the lay house church planters who have churches but little theological education.

The IMB has been in the news a lot lately. Has the Lord ever laid it on your heart to pray serving overseas? You mention in your post that you have been actively searching for over a year and nothing has turned up--maybe the Lord is waiting for you to turn to eyes towards the harvest fields of the world!?!? At least from your photo you look young and healthy. What's keeping you from at least praying about it (if not already?)

Tim Sweatman said...

Guy,

It's been 18 years since I have taken Spanish. In two years of high school Spanish classes we never learned any past verb tenses; if anything happened before the moment, we couldn't describe it.

On a more serious note, I've never felt any sense of calling to serve overseas. Over the years I've gone through the "What if?" scenarios in my mind, always trying to convince myself that of course I would go if called, but wondering deep down if I really would.

As far as having been looking for nearly a year without getting anything, it took nearly three years before I was called to this church. Since I am by nature a very impatient person, it seems that God is working on that.

**********

Wes,

90 minutes from the mall? Hmmm, sounds promising. Of course, if my wife had to drive 90 minutes to the mall I would hardly ever see her. (Oh I forgot, she reads my blog now!)

**********

David,

I have sent resumes to a couple of churches in Maryland. I'm not sure how my accent would go over, though.

**********

Kevin,

If the TBC has a classified section on its web page I haven't found it. Same thing with the Baptist & Reflector web page. I guess I shouldn't be such a cheapskate and should subscribe. I have found that several TN associations do a good job of listing vacancies and actually keeping them up to date.

Regarding churches here in BG, I've sent a resume to ML, and I'm getting ready to send one to WSQ. Of course, both of them are probably in the very early stages of the search process. The other two here in town don't really fit what I'm looking for; RS is bivocational, and SR is a BMAA church. Given my views on Landmarkism, I doubt that I'm what the latter is looking for!

I'm looking for FT. After spending nearly three years in a bivocational position (even though I haven't held an outside job most of this time) I am convinced that a person in a bivocational position should feel called to bivocational ministry. This was a small factor in my decision to seek another church, but not in my decision to resign when I did.

**********

Art & CB,

Thanks for the assistance you've offered via email.

**********

Everyone,

I appreciate all of your prayers and encouragement. I typically don't write a lot about personal matters on my blog, but I figured that since some of my readers have probably been in a similar situation that it might be beneficial for me to do so.

Bro. Robin said...

Tim

My prayers are with you and your wife. I recently came out of a bi-vocational situation that was bad. I know things can get rough. God has a plan for each of us and I trust you will see and feel His love through all of this.

Sharing His Light

Bro. Robin

Hashman said...

Hey Tim,

Have you ever thought of teaching at BG Community College? I know of a couple pastors who are adjuct faculty, teaching speech or Religious studies.

I actually have talked to a few people there about trying to get a class. I'd hate to show anyone my transcripts however.

Just a thought.

John Fariss said...

Don't worry about an accent in Maryland! I'm from Alabama, our music director is from Texas, and almost nobody here (at least in our DC suburb) is actually from Maryland. Besides: that means it takes some of 'em so long to figure out what I said that I don't get into trouble for saying it. And there are more liquor stores than Baptist churches (and I mean licensed ones, not the bootleggers and moonshiners we had down South).

But seriously: it is a strange and wonderful place to minister. Between military and government personnel, with rapid moves and changes of assignment, it takes some getting used to and reeducation (which I am still struggling with). But I love it!

And check out the classified ads of the Biblical Recorder (NC) and of Gardner-Webb University.

Tim Sweatman said...

Bro. Robin,

Thanks for the encouragement.

**********

Kevin,

I've checked with them periodically, but they haven't had any openings in my field.

**********

John,

Thanks for the info.

David Phillips said...

Tim,

I'll ditto John's statement as I am from Alabama as well. You'd get along just fine up here. Also, if you want to plant a church we're about to launch a partnership with NAMB called Embrace Baltimore where Baltimore is a strategic focus city. I know M/D's church planting system so I can even help there as well. You'd be suprised. We're not Boston and much of M/D is rural. Just depends on where you are! Though sweet tea is a bit hard to find around here.

Tim Sweatman said...

David,

I'm not a tea drinker, so that's not a problem! I do have one potential problem: I despise the Ravens (Steelers and Titans fan), but I could deal with that. After all, I live in Kentucky and absolutely despise the Wildcats (GO VOLS!), and I've lived to tell about it!

I don't really see myself as a church planter. I'm not a great personal evangelist or outreach person; I need to be in an environment with others who are strong in those areas. Now if you have a group of people who want to get deep into the Word, then I'm in business.

Dan Paden said...

Oklahoma is neither the end of the world, nor is it close enough to see it. Oklahoma is the center of the Earth.

Sorry to disappoint those who may've been unaware of this.

David Phillips said...

Tim, that did it. You're a Vol's fan. Born and raised in Alabama with 12 national championships to brag about means that I must despise you (with tongue firmly planted in cheek).

Cam Dunson said...

OK, Tim,
You've made my prayer list.
BTW - Take David up on it. Delaware is GREAT place to live and raise a family.

You could also take Guy up on it. You'd be amazed how quickly high school spanish comes back (even if you're learning Portuguese!)

Jim Long said...

Dear Brother,
I am saddened at your needing to leave the place of service. You have a heart of service I can tell. There is a mores that has crept into the church today and the preacher gets the fault. Look to the One you serve for the suture. Take some time off to be with yor lovely wife and court her make her feel special again. A church will come with His leading.
God Bless