There is a saying “the man (pastor) does not make the church”. The pastor is just using God’s church to teach His word until the day comes that God calls the pastor to do work elsewhere.
You know, when a pastor leaves his church there is a sort of mourning that takes place among its parishioners. It’s something like loosing a loved one. (Except without the actual death part.) First, when faced with the news that he is leaving, there is disbelief, shock, even denial. We ask ourselves, “how could he leave when we need him so much?” or, “what will we do without him?” We leave church that day trying to process it all in our head.
As the weeks go by and we sit in church Sunday mornings with the “fill-in” pastors, our shock turns to grief. Not an all-out-crying-in-my-pew-kind-of-grief. But there is grief all the same. Grief that we won’t hear that ‘ol familiar voice on Sunday mornings.
The final sermon comes from that pastor. He has come back one final time to say “good-bye”. You may send him a heart-felt letter of gratitude, thank him in person, or (as our church did) hold a celebratory picnic to bid farewell to your beloved pastor. That is letting go. Letting go so that he may continue God’s work.
Acceptance. The temporary pastor arrives at your church. Accept that he will be your pastor for the next month, two months, or however long it takes to find a permanant pastor.
That day came. Our pastor preached his last sermon last Sunday. He has left for another calling; to minister to other pastors.
I have learned many things from our pastor. Here is my top 5 things I’ve learned from our Pastor:
- Laugh at yourself and don’t be afraid to tell a few bad jokes. Which he did every Sunday.
- No one is perfect. God accepts you just the way you are.
- How to apply God’s word in our everyday life.
- Hold your anger before you destroy relationships with those you love.
- There is great power in the name Jesus Christ.
Our old pastor announced the name of our temporary pastor this past Sunday.
Actually, he goes by “Jim”. Presumably because he got tired of the 007 references. I don’t think that has stopped anyone though.
So, Sunday there will be embrace. Embrace the change and have faith in the Lord’s plan.