This is weird! Now that the publication of The Runaway Pastor is imminent, more and more things are spooking me. Like a text message I got last night from a mother in our congregation. It went something like this: My daughter (fifth grade) wants to read your book when I get it. What should I tell her? And then there is this, how would you explain to the congregation you have pastored for more than 10 years, that you are having a book published about a pastor who runs from his wife and congregation?
Now you see what I'm thinking. Maybe you have all along. But for every one hundred parts of me that are excited about The Runaway Pastor coming out, there is one little part that is cowering a bit.
So why, so many people are asking me, did you write it?
When I sat down to write this book, I had recently counseled with a successful business owner who had indeed run across three states before turning his pickup and stuffed wallet back toward home and his family. An unmistakable pattern was developing in my conversations with hurting pastors: Several confessed a similar desire to get in their car and drive as far as their savings would take them. The Runaway Pastor was a desperate attempt to empty myself of the question, “What if?”
This pastor/author is convinced that an over emphasis of the business model in the Church has destroyed the ministry of thousands of pastors who were gifted as shepherd-teachers, but not as corporate executives. I hope The Runaway Pastor will provide a glimmer of hope to those already shoved to the sidelines. And perhaps it will encourage some who remain in the fray to be true to their gifts and their families, and as a result find themselves being true to their God.
As some of you know, I was also inspired to write after experiencing burnout. Trying to meet the expectations of too many people led me down the road to exhaustion and despair. I wrote in some measure, for therapy.
Another question people are asking is: "Hey, this guy in your book comes around and does it all right again, doesn't he???" I'll let you decide on that one.
Here is one more invitation for "followers" at this site. Your presence is so encouraging and there are some days when the above questions come up, that I am encouraged to know you are beside me.
Peace to you. It won't be long!