Pastor Wiersbe Resigns
In a letter to the Board of Elders dated Sunday, May 7, 1978, Pastor Wiersbe submitted his resignation as Senior Minister of The Moody Church. The letter stated in part: “I feel the Lord would have me engage in a wider ministry of Bible conference teaching and writing. Let me state clearly and sincerely that my decision is not because of any problems in the church…Be sure of my continued support of The Moody Church ministry. My family and I plan to retain our membership at The Moody Church and stand behind the work there…” He indicated his last speaking date as Senior Minister will be July 2.
“With great regrets,” the Board of Elders accepted the resignation on May 7; the Executive Committee also accepted it the following evening, and the congregation approved it on May 17 at a special meeting.
A Pulpit Committee was formed and is already hard at work. Included on the committee are Elders Byrl Vaughan and Carl Johnson, plus Bernard Elafros, LaRue Schad, John Welch, and Alfred Martin. Be much in prayer for these men as they seek God’s choice for the man to fill the pulpit of The Moody Church.
A Final Word by Pastor Warren Wiersbe
It has been suggested that I write a “final message” to the church family, perhaps to comment on my seven years of ministry here, or to evaluate The Moody Church Annual Meeting.
I have enjoyed these seven years as your pastor, and I believe they have enriched my life tremendously. I am only too conscious of my failings; and I pray that your new pastor will compensate for them. My emphasis has been on sharing the Word and strengthening the Body. God has done some great things for us internally; now the church needs to reach out in a more aggressive manner.
It has been delightful to work with the pastoral staff. To say that I will miss them—and our weekly staff meetings—is an understatement. They have become a rich part of my life and ministry, and I appreciate them deeply.
Our church officers have been a help and an encouragement. Their faithfulness has made my work much easier, and I thank God for them. Also, the congregation has been a joy and strength to me personally. Thank you for listening to the Word! Thank you for praying!
This past year, our attendance has gone down, but in Sunday school and the worship services. There may be explanations for this (or excuses!), but it is a serious matter and must be corrected. We now have the extra indoor parking available at Dominick’s, and yet our congregations are smaller.
It is vitally important that the church family support the public ministry of the Word. I fear we sometimes take the ministry for granted, and forget that a loyal church member is a ministering member. I realize that there are many good things people can do in Chicago on Sundays, but nothing can substitute for the meeting of one’s church family.
God has been good to provide our every need. We are not in debt, and we have much to thank God for. But let’s not become overconfident and forget to pray and trust God! Revelation 3:17 is always a frightening possibility in any church.
We must never measure ministry only by money; neither should we waste money in that which is not ministry. We are a church, not a “building and loan association,” and we must not confuse prices and values. I have appreciated the steady and wise guidance of the Elders and the Finance Committee in these matters. Pray for them as they seek God’s will in setting priorities for the ministry here.
Each pastor makes his special contribution to a church, and then another must take his place. No one man can do everything. If each pastor is supposed to be the same, God would never have to move us! It is wrong to try to duplicate any man, because all of us are (and must be) different. We call a pastor for his strengths—what the church needs at that special time—and we help him compensate for his weaknesses.
I do not intend to choose my successor; but as a continuing member of the church, I will be praying and doing all I can to help us find and call God’s man. And when he comes, all of us will get behind him and encourage him in his work.
Meanwhile, we will all be faithful to the church and carry on as usual. The best way to call a new pastor is to have ready for him a church ministry that is moving right along!
Thank you again for all you have been to me and my family, and all you have done. You will always be in our hearts and prayers.