This is the post I didn’t want to write. However, sometimes I need to write to see what I am thinking.
Moving is almost always a difficult thing for me. I pour so much of myself into my current appointment that it is very hard to let go, especially when there have been so many successes and milestones. Such is the case with Woodbine. At Woodbine:
- I have grown a great deal as a preacher and communicator
- I have learned much about leadership and administration (I still do not like administration but I can do it better)
- I have built great relationships and have mentored and been mentored by people here.
- I have learned to be a much better pastoral counselor.
- I have learned to back away from things and not feel guilty, or should I say I am getting better at it.
- I have learned to use technology more effectively (Ben would say I am not a real Jedi master until I get a Mac).
- I have learned to rely on the gifts of many great lay people and I have been inspired by them as well.
- I have learned what teamwork is by working with great leaders and a great staff.
These are just some of the reasons I hate leaving this place, but I have answered the call to ministry in the United Methodist Church and the appointment system is the system we use to provide pastoral leadership to our congregations.
My daughter said it best. She was having a conversation with a co-worker who just could not understand why a Methodist minister could be sent to another church when her pastor was called to her church. Charity said, “My dad is called to the ministry, and not to a particular church.” In the end that is it, I am called by God to serve God and his people wherever the Bishop sends me.
My grandfather used to constantly remind me that Baptist ministers are called and Methodist ministers are sent (implying that Methodists were sent by people and not God). One day after I had heard that over and over again I finally said, “Papa Methodists are called too, the difference is Baptists are called my the local church and Methodists are called by God.” I never heard that phrase again from him.
I am called by God with certain gifts and abilities and so is the person who will come after me in this wonderful place called Woodbine. I wonder what the future holds for each of us.
So what about the future? I will have to write about that later.