Pastor Leaves Church and the People Cheer

This blows my mind. Vince Antonucci recently announced that he is leaving his church. He is taking off, abandoning his people and going to plant a new church on the Las Vegas strip.

His people gave a standing ovation when he announced he was leaving.

I have been a part of a few different churches where the Lead Pastor announced he was leaving. The reaction was not unabashed excitement. People were scared, angry, hurt and just plain freaked out.

I’m currently serving in a church that saw a Pastoral change over about a year ago. Under the previous Lead Pastor the church was running around 300 adults in Sunday morning Worship.  Within months of the previous pastor leaving worship attendance dropped to 100. People are still hurt that the previous pastor left, but that hurt is compounded by fact that they seen 200 of their friends take off as well.

I’m baffled by Vince Antonucci’s courage and the maturity of his people. What the heck did he do as a leader to build up to this point? He’s been a different kind of leader and he’s gotten a different type of response.

Vince’s story gives me hope and inspiration. It takes tons of moxy and huge vision to go for a church plant on the Vegas strip. It takes a lot of guts to tell people you are leaving a year ahead of time. This is not the coward’s way out. I have heard many people say, “I’m not leaving I’m being sent.” In most cases this was a total line of bull. In Vince’s case he actually seems to be able to say this with integrity.

Check out these recent posts on Vince’s blog:

I’m very interested to see what happens next year for Forefront Church.

4 Responses to “Pastor Leaves Church and the People Cheer”


  1. 1 Kyle July 22, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Man that’s my nightmare, I say I’m leaving and I get a standing ovation…”Hey everyone don’t clap so loud! Can a brotha get a few tears or something???”

  2. 2 Tyler July 23, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    That story truly is incredible. It is one of those little miracles that will never make the evening news but truly is incredible.

  3. 3 Mia March 15, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I say good ridance, they applauded because they are happy to see him go, so am I. I used to want to know God until I met Vince. He does not walk his own talk. I am glad to see him go too.
    Mia

  4. 4 Billy Chia March 16, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Mia,
    Thank you for your candid comment – I always try to encourage honesty on my blog even if I disagree.

    No one is perfect – none of us “walk our talk.” We are all hypocrites and we are all sinners – that’s why we need Jesus.

    Jesus is perfect. I am not.
    Jesus is perfect. Vince is not.
    Jesus is perfect. You are not.

    Jesus, the infinite, all-powerful God of the universe, humbled himself to die on a cross so that your non-perfection could be forgiven. He then rose from the grave to so that you could have new life.

    Trust in Jesus. Humans will inevitably let you down – Jesus never will.


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