John Black

We have all heard the saying, “Change is hard!” I really dislike that saying, because truth be told, change isn’t hard at all. In fact, change is really quite easy. It’s the decision to change that is hard. 

words + photograph John Black

The reason this is true is because the decision to change requires us to overcome some barrier in our lives (that’s the hard part).

Trust me, I know. 

Deciding to leave full-time ministry was the right decision for John, but it was also the hardest.

After nine years in vocational full-time ministry, I made a change. I resigned from the pastorate and went back into full-time, corporate, secular work.

Without question, coming to this decision was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. If I am being honest, it wrecked me for a period of time. Even though I knew, (and still know to this day) that I was making the right decision, I struggled with the decision to change. Why is this? If I knew I needed to change, why was it so hard? It’s because of what I mentioned earlier. Change requires us to overcome some barrier that is in our life. For me, I had several barriers holding me back from deciding to make a change. One of those barriers is extremely painful for me to admit. It’s that awful five letter word many of us struggle with – PRIDE. 

If I am being honest, it wrecked me for a period of time.

I did not want to be seen by other people as “one of those pastors” who failed and washed out of the ministry. I had to overcome the barrier of worrying about what others thought of me before I was able to make the decision to change. 

Everyone seems to struggle with some barrier to change. One of the most common barriers that hold people back is fear: fear of the unknown, fear of failure or fear of letting go of something. Many people live in fear of doing something different. Most people like same, not change.

What barriers are holding you back from deciding to change? Sometimes to get over our barriers, we must think about what might be on the other side. What might you experience if you could change? What opportunities are waiting for you? Where might God lead you if you could knock down the change barriers that are holding you back? Remember, change isn’t hard. You just need to make the decision to change. JB

2 responses to “John Black”


    I will always be grateful for the gracious way you have extended yourself to me and my family, John. Will never forget that day when you were fairly new to Southgate and our Brittany was undergoing surgery and was scared to death. I will never forget you showing up at the west wing of Cox about 6 a.m. and the encouragement you gave to her. You were also the one who baptized my daughter and let me have a part in that. These are just a couple of the many special memories I could share of your mini stry to the Lanhams.
    And I will never look at you as someone who washed out of ministry or anything else. You haven’t washed out of anything unless it was a canoe or kayak!!
    Can’t wait till this fall when I can join you and we can watched Wes march in the MSU pride band!


    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment on John’s writing. I will make sure he receives this note.


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