When God Calls Your Pastor to Leave Your Church

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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!

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When God Calls Your Pastor to Leave Your Church — 9 Comments

  1. I will be praying too. Our music director left under not-so-great terms three months ago. Her family members are still there. The new music director is a warm, wonderful person who is looking to grow our music program. Pray that she finds acceptance when she comes. Sandy

  2. Change is hard. Period.
    From experience, I wish more people would have an attitude like yours when any kind of minister changes positions. It was super hard on us when my husband switched from missionary to domestic pastor (wannabe at the time) and people just couldn’t believe that could be God’s will.

    • I am so sorry you and your husband had a hard transition time. I cannot imagine what that was like, but I do know that God used it to perfect something in you. 🙂 Thank you for your comment, friend.

  3. Same there here, but with out Children’s pastor. He is amazing and we all love him, God just had other plans (he is the head pastor at a new church as of last week). So hard to “lose” their family but excited to see what God has planned.

  4. Great perspective. My initial reaction was the exact same…my heart dropped! whew! So thankful for the time we had with their sweet family. I grew sooo much by his faithful service.

  5. That is exactly how we felt and feel, well said! Life sometimes takes us by surprise, but God is not taken by surprise. He is creating a wonderful tapestry and weaving it all together flawlessly!