Re: The Pittsburgh Project

A few of you have asked about my resignation from The Pittsburgh Project. The official word came down yesterday. You can read it here. 

I wanted to say just a few quick things here. I apologize in advance if some of it is cryptic, but it has to be that way for something as public as a blog post. 

When one chooses to be a leader in any arena, their private life comes under scrutiny. Fair or not, leaders are judged as much by who they are as what they do. The Pittsburgh Project is an amazing organization that has done immeasurable good for literally thousands of people. An organization of this caliber requires a leader who can, at the very least maintain a healthy balance between those things that happen in their personal world and those that happen in their work life. I was not that person. I came into what I knew was an impossibly difficult job in the midst of wrestling my own demons and baggage. My self destructive tendencies got the best of me. I was not fit to lead. 

I want to take this opportunity to apologize to the board and staff of the Pittsburgh Project, many of whom invested a great deal of energy and trust into my leadership. I am so sorry for this unneeded distraction. I love you all and will continue to support you in any way that seems appropriate. 

If you are reading this, I hope that you will continue to support TPP. If you know me, you know the great love that I have for that place. Young people on the North side and vulnerable homeowners all across the city are loved in meaningful, tangible ways through their efforts. The value of their ministry is incalculable. Many of you loved them because I was there. I hope that you will continue to love them. 

As for me, I am going to do what I should have done at the end of 2011, which is to take a break from doing ministry. This has been a heartbreaking, humiliating, and humbling season of life. Hopefully it has been a wake up call. I have deferred maintenance on my psyche that I can no longer put off until tomorrow. I need to get my head and heart clear. And in the mean time, I need to figure out the best ways to love my family and friends. For those of you who have reached out to me, please forgive me for not reaching back as quickly as I should. I’m overwhelmed and embarrassed. I will reach back. I promise. 

So that’s me. 

How are you? 


19 thoughts on “Re: The Pittsburgh Project

  1. It takes a good man to know their own limits. You are loved and supported. May grace be found in this time of transition for you.

  2. Derrick, what a note to everyone. Much love and prayers to you, I will hold you and your family in my prayers each day. Peace and love. Life’s a journey, and I know God is with you….

  3. I know you, and I know The Pittsburgh Project – this seemed like a match made in heaven! I am sad for them but glad you are putting on your own oxygen mask first. Please be well.

  4. I’m taking this in and breathing with you. Every person and situation is unique, but many of us know the pain of ministry and the pain of leaving. Praying for deep renewal and a new sense of self and health and balance for you.

  5. Derrick, I’ve watched you from afar ever since I worked that one summer at the TPP. I’ve read a lot of your sermons and blog posts and have often resonated with the words you write. Once again I feel such resonance. My heart aches for you because I know the feeling of being embarrassed as well as the feeling of needing to get out of ministry. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing.

    Andrea and I will continue to support TPP and I’ll definitely continue to follow you as you go on your next adventure. Can’t wait to read about where life takes you next!

  6. I have admired your deliberate attempt at ministry. You are not alone and you will be back. It is not even near the end, only transition. Once you heal, I look forward to the next level.

  7. No stones, just the fellowship of the forgiven and prayers for you and your family. Recently, in the midst of a situation that I considered embarrassing, the voice of love whispered to me, ” When I humble you, it’s never to humiliate you.” I can’t wait to see you restored.

  8. Derrick,

    Without knowing any of the details, I want to say to you that this models of spirit of humility that I think all of us are called to in the church today. Our leaders far too often begin with denial and dig in for a battle that serves no one. Thank you for the courage you are demonstrating with this post. I will hold you in prayer as your time of discernment unfolds.


  9. I love you Derrick and if you just need a friend to make you laugh and be goofy with that has nothing to do with ministry feel free to call me…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s