Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Your Preacher Is Leaving

     It has been my observation that churches and preachers do better when there is a long ministry.  When they are effective, they get to know each other and the community.  They can build relationships that are mutually beneficial.

     I have had the opportunity to visit where the preacher has been at the same congregation for more than a decade.  I have had that situation more than once in my years of ministry.

     But at some time, that ministry in that place with that preacher is going to end.  I think it is helpful when all involved realize that, talk about it, and plan for the transition.

     One of the frequent ways I hear people dealing with that reality is denial.  "We love our preacher.  He has been with us twenty-five years and he is never going to leave."  "Our preacher is also an elder.  He doesn’t want to leave and he has job security."

     The preacher is leaving. I have known preachers who have been at a church for many years, felt secure, and suddenly found out they were leaving.  I have known preachers who also served as elders who left—sometimes by their choice, at other times not by their choice.

     Next month, I plan to tell you how he is going to leave.