Time to Move On

Today is my last day at Marengo UMC. The youth program did not work as intended. I am thankful to God and the people here for allowing me the opportunity to work with their young people while the time lasted. I am thankful also that God has revealed to me that pastoring is not my gift. This is not an easy thing to be thankful for, but Eph 5:20 says to be thankful in all things, so in this I will be thankful.


About Lance Ponder

Christian author of "Ask James one"; public speaker; husband and father. Available to speak on Creation and the Gospel.
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22 Responses to Time to Move On

  1. Lance,

    Hang in there mate! Today’s church is a mess, and the gift of the pastor-teacher has been well mauled by both modernism and postmodernism! Note the “Emergents”. Today pastoral ministry must simply find its roots again in biblical, explanatory and interpretative preaching & teaching! It won’t be popluar now, but it always the only real method that God really blesses!

    • Lance Ponder says:

      Thank you, Fr. Robert. Your support means a great deal to me. I was perhaps a bit hard on myself about all this. There’s a lot more to this story than I can say in a public format like this, but for some reason I felt like sharing my frustration. Things in my life are a bit difficult at the moment and this was a blow that fell rather hard. God is doing something and I need to be thankful for the discomfort.

      • Lance,

        My brother, you have a great heart & mind, and God will use both in some kind of pastor and teacher ministry. ‘Mine the mighty ordination of the pierced hands!’ This is my heart and faith anyway. That is a good and biblical analogy, “dust off your feet, and go to the next village.”! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Michael Knudsen says:


    I admire you for even trying, something many people are unwilling to do with today’s youth and their set of problems. The fact that you had a desire to do it does indicate a gift in that area, so you might just need to keep watching for the right place and time.

    • Lance Ponder says:

      Thank you also, Michael. As I was telling Fr Robert above, there’s more to the story than I can publish now. For me to say that God has not given me this or that is a judgment I should not be making. That I have not obeyed fully is a given. Still, God is good even when I am not, or when the world around me is not. And so I will pick myself up, dust off my feet, and go to the next village.

  3. Todd Beal says:


    I can feel the disappointment coming through your post. I want to quickly share what I have learned over the past few years. I have many talents; some minor and some major. I have developed many skills; some minor and some major. My natural tendency, as I individually develop them, is to treat each as the only thing I was meant to do. However, the more I learn about life and myself, the more I realize that there is something larger than them all that will someday utilize them together. And in some cases, that is already happening on various smaller scales.

    I donโ€™t know if this fits you too, but I want to encourage you that just because this particular pastoral role didnโ€™t work out, that doesnโ€™t necessarily mean you are not meant to pastor in any way, shape, or form. You obviously have a burning in your heart to be a pastor in some fashion. It is quite possible that God did not design you to be a pastor proper, but instead to use your pastoral heart, including your understanding of the scriptures, as part of some of other role/calling/area of service, even if that means doing something gospel-related but outside the church proper.

    Have you considered going into missions work, or even working stateside on a missions outreach program?

  4. Lance,

    Thank God our “faithfulness” is not in ourselves, but ‘In Christ’..and all that HE means and enables, in His Body! But the time and hour is late! (Rom. 13: 11-14)

  5. Lyagushka says:

    I’m glad to see you’ve been getting such good support here. May God keep guiding you on the road ahead, and may you keep listening and obeying – I know he will show you the next step each time, and he will use you. Whatever role(s) he has in mind for you, God can and will equip you for the work he has for you to do. Feeling that you’re not up to the task is actually a pretty healthy place to be – it keeps you relying on his strength and not on your own.

    oh, and happy birthday!

    • Lance Ponder says:

      Thank you. **hugs**

      • Todd Beal says:

        What’s this? You had a birthday and didn’t let us congratulate you? When was your birthday and how old does that make you? Happy birthday Lance!

        • Lance Ponder says:

          It was the 11th. I’m 46. Thanks.

          • Todd Beal says:

            That puts us at five years apart. I will be 41 on August 15th.

          • I’m still the old man here! ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy belated birthday btw, Lance! Mine, Lord willing is coming again in late Oct. Whew, I gonna start giving them away to others! Oh yeah, I guess we can’t do that, huh. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Lyagushka says:

            You still haven’t caught up with me ๐Ÿ™‚

            Hope you didn’t mind me letting your secret out.

          • Lance Ponder says:

            Fr Robert – Older maybe. Wiser definitely. Give that away and the birthdays will take care of themselves. ~_*

          • Lance,

            Age of course can be a relative thing, both mentally and physically. I think I have a good Irish gene pool, but? We Christians are all in the hands of God’s sovereign grace & love. I just cannot (nor want to) escape God’s providence in His sovereign hand! I am unabashedly a “Calvinist” (bound in the ‘Doctrines of Grace’!) No escape here either, least those God has “called”!

            “From Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and brother of James (both half brothers of Jesus, btw), to those who are called, wrapped in the love of God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:1, NET Bible) – Kept by Jesus Christ, so that they (we) might be kept for Jesus Christ! Both our salvation and our eschatological end, are kept by GOD in Christ! ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Lance Ponder says:

          Congrats on upcoming 41. Wish I were again. LOL.

    • Lance Ponder says:

      It was never a secret so I don’t mind it being out. But I don’t make a big deal about it and never much cared.

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