An interesting thing about most Methodist churches; pastors rarely stay in one church for a length of time. They’re usually there a few years and get moved by the district to another church. Sometimes they’re moved sooner or later by request of the pastor or congregation. Or based on need. It’s often a jarring event for everyone involved. You get used to each other. Settle into the routine of it all. I’ve seen/heard of some congregations threaten to disband and leave the church if a pastor is made to move. But it’s really just the way of it.
It does seem odd and sometimes pointless. Especially if everyone is getting along well. But like just about anything in life, too much of the same thing can lead to idleness. Think of it like exercise. If you spend all your time doing bicep curls and tricep dips, you may have some amazing looking arms, but weak legs. You need to rotate your workouts, right? Why not…. Rotate your faith?
This all occurred to me this morning in church. We had a guest pastor who was retired from another Methodist church not too far from our own. She is definitely has a different flair from our own pastor, but no better or worse. Just different. I thought back over the pastors we’ve had at my church since I joined back in 2008.
Pastor Wendy was there when I first found my way to Gates Fourth. She was young and full of excitement. After spending probably 10-15 years as an atheist I was feeling very lost in my faith journey at that time. Pastor Wendy helped me re-awaken and renew my faith again. She gleefully led me back into a life of faith. When she left I was crushed.
Pastor Pam was next. She was very different, but I started to realize she was teaching me so much about patience, and forgiveness. Even if without trying.
Pastor Ball was next. A much older man with a quiet intensity to him. He helped me get back to basics with my faith and dive back into the Bible.
Now we have Pastor Grayson. He has taken every single thing I have learned over the years and shown me exactly how it ties into every aspect of my life. How my faith plays a role in EVERYTHING! He re-awakened that spirit that Wendy gave me at the start.
I’ve heard many stories of pastors we had before I came, all with a different flair to their preaching. Some folks speak of certain ones with excitement, and love and some with an eye roll and a sigh. Each one brought something special and unique to our church.
So while it seems strange or even difficult to change pastors so much, each once brings us new lessons in faith. And renews our spirit in a different way.