After serving as lead pastor of Nashville's Cross Point Church for 14 years, Pete Wilson announced he is stepping away from the pulpit and asked for prayer as he attempts to overcome exhaustion and personal brokenness.
Wilson, who along with his wife, Brandi founded Cross Point Church in 2013, made the announcement on Sunday.
"Most of you in this church only experience what I do on Sundays, especially those of you who watch online," he said. "You just see me when I kind of come up here on Sundays but the reality is as leader and the pastor of a church, what happens in between those Sundays is just as important and it requires a lot of leadership and it requires a lot of leadership energy. And leaders in any realm of life, leaders who lead on empty don't lead well and for some time now I've been leading on empty. And so I believe that the best thing for me to do is to step aside from Cross Point and so I am officially resigning as the pastor of Cross Point Church," Wilson continued as the congregation listened quietly.
He then asked the congregation to continue praying for him as he attempts to recover from overwhelming exhaustion.
"And now, more than ever before - I really need your prayers and I need your support. We've said that this is a church where it's OK to not be okay, and I'm not okay. I'm tired. I'm broken, and I just need some rest. I love you guys; I love the vision of this church. The vision of this church is not me by the way," he said with a slight crack in his voice.
"I speak words but that's all vision is. It's just words when it's spoken. Vision becomes vision when it gets lived out. And you guys have lived it out. Cross Point is the church that it is today because of you, not because of me and I believe our best days are ahead," added Wilson.
Cross Point Church is one of the "fastest-growing churches in America," reaching more than 7,000 people each weekend through its five locations around the Nashville area and online, according to the church website.
Following Wilson's resignation, the elders released a statement saying: "Pastor Pete's resignation was 100% his decision. In fact, we tried to talk him out of it as we told him to take as much time as he needed. But he was ready to get rest and start a new season ... Pete even indicated he would always be available to help us answer any questions-we plan to take him up on his offer ... We can't wait to watch all that God has in store for Pastor Pete."
In the days following Wilson's resignation, hundreds flooded to social media, offering prayers and words of encouragement.
Wrote Chance Scroggins: "I may never have been more inspired by you...We're all broken, Pete. The thing is, some of us don't get to admit it out loud. No one was meant to receive such power, pressure or adulation. We're not built for it. It's not sustainable. It makes good men into shadows of themselves. God has and will continue to use you...and He's using you now."
Added Nathan Peeples: "Pastor Pete has been an amazing shepherd... Praying he has a shepherd in his life that's been even half as good as he has to Crosspoint!"