I ate lunch at a Chinese restaurant a few weeks ago with a group of fellow pastors. The conversation was mostly about guessing which pastors would be moving to which churches. I listened intently because I am moving this year. I did not learn anything about where I might be going, but my fortune cookie offered some interesting advice:
You are ready to experience new horizons. Plan your move.
The clergy gathered around the table had a good laugh over that one.
I now know where I am going, and I know who will be following me. I announced it to my church, and I am currently planning my move. There is much to be done. I want to help the person following me to have a smooth transition. I want to be prepared for my new church. I want to make sure my family and personal life are well cared for in the transition (we own a house that we need to sell or rent — and then everyone’s favorite chore: packing).
Last week, all moving pastors in my conference gathered for a “Right Start” conference. We received materials from the Lewis Center on Leadership to help us think about how to say goodbye to our current congregations and hello to our new congregations. I also have a book by Ken Callahan called, “A New Beginning for Pastors and Congregations,” which I read prior to my last move. I will be going through these resources and will be sure to blog about any interesting thoughts that come to mind. Time and energy permitting, of course.
Please pray for me, my church(es), the pastor following me, and all pastors and churches experiencing a move. I also ask for prayers for my wife Cindy. She hopes to find a teaching job in our new area, and they can be difficult to find!
As we plan our move, I am prayerful of allowing God to move in us with his master-plan.