At long last the news is out in the open. The pastor of my church is leaving for different pastures. I’ve had this fact squirreled away in my brain for about a month–because I’m just so cool. Gradually other people were brought in on the secret, but yesterday it went public. In fact, a fabulous new corner of the church’s website went live at noon. It’s all so cutting edge.
There are things that I will not miss about Brandon Park. For example, he’s taken to saying things like “Ain’t that cool?” even though that’s not at all his natural mode of speech. I won’t miss that. And there are other things, more substantive things, that are not his strongest points. He’d be the first to admit these.
Let me be clear that I was not privately fist-pumping when I heard that this man would be leaving us. I will miss him, but I have confidence that God can and will bring somebody amazing to fill this role. I’m also confident that the new pastor will have new traits that ruffle the feathers of various members of the congregation. We could hire Jesus himself and have people grousing.
Right now, though, I’m just thinking about right now. What’s going to happen to this body in the short term. Will some people, the ones who attended the church only to hear the pastor, decide to go church shopping? Will others just sit at home on Sunday mornings and rationalize that until the church gets a new pastor there’s no urgency to come to worship? Finally, and never far from some people’s minds, will the offering drop off in a frightening way?
All I can do is speak for myself and my house. Until God tells us that we should look to another church, we’ll be remaining at Connection Point. Until God gives us good reason to stay home, we’ll be attending regularly. Until something cataclysmic happens, we’ll be tithing. In short, as long as Jesus is the center of the church, I’m not going to change my behavior in response to who is pastor.
Paul is really clear about this confusion regarding who is actually in charge of the church. In 1 Corinthians 3, he writes,
For whenever someone says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not acting like mere humans?
Frankly, I don’t want to act like a mere human. I want to act as if the Holy Spirit is running things in my life, making my decisions, controlling my emotions. That’s why I’ve made these decisions. Unless a glowing angel appears and tells me to do otherwise, I’m going to:
- Continue serving in Kid Ministry at Connection Point Church.
- Continue attending the church regularly.
- Continue supporting the church financially.
- Continue praying for our former pastor, our future pastor, and the leadership in between.
- Continue making Jesus the center of my reality and the church the center of that reality’s expression on earth.
If you’re in the same situation or you’re in a similar situation, you might need to change some of the details, but I’d admonish you to join me in these resolves. Continue!