I received the message on Monday. My sweet friend wanted to be sure I knew because I had missed church on Sunday night.
“Pastor is leaving to go to another church.”
WHAT?!? was my first reaction. Then I was short of breath as my stomach fell to the ground. I ran from the room for the telephone.
After hearing the story from the source, I started praying. Praying, praying, and praying. My Pastor isn’t leaving because of a bad situation, or complaints. On the contrary, my Pastor is greatly loved and our church is growing. I think that’s a reason why this decision took so many members by surprise.
However it shouldn’t. Pastors are called by the Lord to serve Him which means they must be willing to go where He sends them, when He sends them.
When Jesus was around 13 years old, his parents took him to Jerusalem. When it was time to leave, Mary and Joseph left the city and traveled quite a distance before realizing Jesus was not with the traveling party. They quickly turned around and began the search for their son. Upon arriving at the temple, the anxious parents found Jesus discussing theology and scripture with the priests and scribes. “How could you do this to us?” cried Mary. I can picture Jesus turning his head towards her and answering back with kind eyes and a slight smile on his lips, “Didn’t you know I needed to be about my Father’s work?”
When a loving Shepherd of the church leaves his congregation under good circumstances, those members can easily feel betrayed and slip into the “how could he do this to us?” mentality. And yet, us sheep need to remember that Pastors must be about their Father’s business. We ALL should be about our Father’s business.
While I am heart-broken to see my Pastor and his family leave our church, I am excited. I am excited to see what God has planned for him at his new church; and I am excited to see what God is going to do within the others of the congregation and me.
While I am waiting to see what God does, I will do these things:
1. Pray and support my Pastor and his family.
2. Pray and support my Associate Pastor and his family during this time.
3. Pray for the deacons and other leaders of my local church as decisions are made.
4. Trust in the Lord for He is good and His loving-kindnesses are everlasting.
The grief I am feeling will last for a few days or weeks. Goodbyes will be said. Life goes on.
This is just another reminder to me that this earth is not my home. One day all peoples who know Jesus will be worshiping together at His feet. This includes my Pastor, his family, me, my husband, and perhaps, even you, Reader. I hope so. It would be great to meet you face to face one day.
Have a blessed day!