Long Term Pastoring

One of the joys of pastoring in a community for a long time is being able to be involved with people’s lives.  We have teenagers in our youth group who are children of people, who were themselves in our youth group, years ago.  There was a baby shower at the church recently.  I have known the father since he was a small boy.  There are many such examples.

My children grew up, staying in the same school system, from kindergarten to graduation from high school.  I don’t know if they realize how unusual that is, for a pastor’s kid.

Our town feels like home. Actually, I have lived here longer than I have lived anywhere else.

Still, I realize that I am first of all, a servant of God; that if God directs me to leave, then it will be time to leave.  The church is God’s church, not my church.  It was here when I came, and will be here when I leave.  Only God knows how long we will minister in this community.  We seek to be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit to either stay or leave.   

Of course, that has always been the case.  We regularly pray about God’s plan for our lives.  So far, there has been no prompting to move on.  We will continue to minister in this community until God leads us elsewhere.

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