“If you’re thinking of leaving your church for another, start with Michael Lawrence’s article on leaving wisely. In fact, look at Matt Schmucker’s even before you think about leaving. Have you looked yet? Okay, what about now? I’ve seen enough pastors come and go to know that Lawrence and Schmucker just might shift your paradigm.”
This issue was timely for me, and while Lawrence’s and Schmucker’s articles were excellent, the most insightful was from Jeramie Rinne. Rinne’s article, Staying to the Glory of God: One Preacher’s Death Wish, offers some incredible practical advice and is quite challenging towards what seems to be the general consensus among many pastors. Rinne challenges pastors to seriously work towards staying with the congregation they are pastoring because,
(1) Staying increasingly reflects the glory of God’s faithfulness;
(2) Staying creates opportunities to glorify God through more strategic gospel ministry;
(3) Staying challenges a pastor to make God’s glory his motivation for ministry.
His first piece of advice is quite helpful. Just as parents are a reflection of God’s character to their children, pastors can also provide a helpful reminder of God’s character as well. Thus, my prayer has become:
“Lord, help me stay faithful to Your people for Your glory. Help me to value longevity above and beyond personal preferences. Give me grace to love Your people and serve Your people and provide a Godly example for Your people. Amen.”