Sunday, January 16, 2011

A New Season of Ministry


Proverbs 16:9 says, " A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." We all have experienced the fact that the plans you make don't always turn out as you envisioned. Such has been my experience in my ministry at Tenth Presbyterian Church. In 2006 I was given the honor of serving on the pastoral staff at Tenth, leading its ministry to Center City Philadelphia, where Tenth is located, and preaching in the Sunday evening service. The plan was that I would split my time between Tenth and Paul Tripp Ministries, my writing and speaking ministry. Over the last four years my ministry outside of Tenth has greatly expanded. I am very aware and humbled by the fact that God has given me a worldwide platform that few get and I feel a strong calling to be a good steward of that platform.

I have increasing seen the inadequacy of being a "drop in" pastor. Ministry in the local church is about building relationships with the congregation, with leadership and with the staff. Being away as much as I have been has made this very difficult. Over the last several months I have become more and more persuaded that I cannot pursue the wider opportunities that God has given me and at the same time fulfill my responsibilities at Tenth. So I have stepped down from my position on the pastoral staff. My last official responsibility will be preaching on Sunday morning, March 20.

Luella and I are not leaving Tenth. We love Tenth and want to use our gifts there. We are also very encouraged with Tenth's newly-called Senior Minister, Liam Goligher, and want to do all that we can to support and encourage his ministry.

Finally, I was encouraged by the Paul Tripp Ministries Advisory Board that there needed to be a place in my busy schedule where my soul would be nurtured. I heard this as very sound and needed advice. So, I am looking forward to having Sundays off and basking in the nourishment of good gospel preaching.

Please continue to pray for me and the ministry to which God has called me. Pray that we in the ministry would make wise decisions, pray that I would have strength to maintain a busy travel and ministry schedule and pray that I would be a living example of the things I teach.

I have included below a statement from Marion Clark, the Executive Pastor of Tenth Church and Scott Anderson, the Executive Director of Desiring God Ministries and a member of the Advisory Board of Paul Tripp Ministries.

Though we regret losing Dr. Paul Tripp as our regular evening preacher, we fully support his decision to devote himself full-time to Paul Tripp Ministries. It became evident, as the demands on his time grew from both Tenth Church and his wider ministry, that he needed to focus his work on that wider church ministry, which God is clearly blessing. Both Paul and his wife Luella remain committed members of the church family and continue to serve the church with their gifts. Tenth Church will continue to support Paul's ministry, especially in being his church home where he is spiritually fed and renewed. (Marion Clark, Executive Pastor, Tenth Presbyterian Church)

The Lord has gifted Paul Tripp in wonderful ways, blessing him with a unique calling that few receive, namely, to serve the broader church through the strategic platform of speaking and writing. Evidence of this blessing is seen in the significant expansion of Paul Tripp Ministries over the past four years. In light of this, the Advisory Board of Paul Tripp Ministries counseled Paul to give prayerful consideration to the stewardship of his calling, specifically advising that he consider pulling-back from vocational responsibilities at Tenth Church in order to more fully focus on his wider ministry. Our recommendation is grounded in the conviction that this would greatly help Paul steward his unique calling and would promote the flourishing of his own soul as he and Luella enjoy a more normal, fruitful participation within the Body of Christ. (Scott Anderson, Executive Director, Desiritng God Ministries and Member of the Advisory Board of Paul Tripp Ministries)