when the clergy doubts

"When the Clergy Doubts" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“When the Clergy Doubts” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

[Like this cartoon? Get a print for just $19!]
This happens more than you think. I know a lot of clergy who are in this position.

I was there. Many times.

And I actually went through with it. I left the ministry. And the church.

You can read my story in my new book Questions Are The Answer: nakedpastor and the search for understanding.

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4 Responses

  1. Sabio Lantz says:

    So David,
    Did anyone miss you after you left your church?
    Or were you right — no one really missed you? (except maybe a few friends)

    Though I am an ex-Christian, ten years ago I sought out community again amongst like-minded folks in a Zen Temple in the USA.

    American Zen, like many religions, also contains lots of fluff, silly religious effort and more,
    but I didn’t care I was looking for community.
    After one year of attendance (chatting at coffee with folks after the services), I had a bad medical event that stopped me from going,
    and though I had gone weekly for a year to the temple
    I never hear from anyone once during those hard 6 months.

    Then I laughed at my silliness and did not return.

  2. Caryn LeMur says:

    Sabio… how sad! I am so sorry that happened to you!

    The longing for community comes and goes within me. I find most of my intellectual community via the Internet. However, I have not found any face-to-face community other than a few neighbors that we enjoy, and our children and grandchildren that visit.

    I have grown accustomed to being alone, and it is ok. Yet, I can see more and more the view of my dad and mom, and how the neighborhood community simply is not set up to ‘seek out’ anyone. Growing old means growing lonely, and learning to be content with that feeling…. not fun… and hard for me to learn.

    Hugs. Again, so sorry that happened to you.

  3. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ Caryn,
    Thanks, but it was a long time ago and not too bothersome, just eye-opening.

  4. Shazza tha dazzla says:

    Hehehe…… That’s good David. So true.

    I was an assistant pastor, and when I left people missed me……….. apparently. So they would awkwardly say if I met them in the street. I think the problem lies with the fact that if a pastor leaves, the general consensus is that someone did something WRONG. No-one buys the “God called me elsewhere” bible-babble.

    In my case there were two camps. Either I had backslidden, had relationship issues, mental illness etc, or the senior minister was jealous, controlling, inflexible etc. People chose a camp according to their personal bias.

    And the official reason? I had discovered I was not a 5-fold pastor……….. apparently. Whatever the hell that means. That is all the “flock” was given, so people of course made up their own minds and spoke about it only in whispers. The real reason? A million little down to earth annoyances that couldn’t be resolved.

    But I am one of the very lucky ones. I went to university as a mature aged student, met supportive like-minded people who are now work colleagues and great friends, and I love my new job. I was lonely for a little while, but the reality is I was more lonely as a pastor.