A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, June 1, 2014
Helping, While Saying Good-bye!
It is difficult to say good-bye. Transition is a constant, and a necessary part of life. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it!
My friend and colleague, Pastor Gordon, preached and celebrated his last service at the church where I am working. Today. He is moving into another specialized ministry with his denomination, where he can use both his ministerial credentials as well as his real estate broker’s license. It sounds quite exciting, and I wish him the very best!
But—that leaves me as the solo interim pastor. Exciting! Gasp! Yes! I can certainly preach, and do pastoral care for the congregation; facilitate and teach bible studies, and lead in worship, singing and prayer in the service each week. I’ve been doing each of these things for years, one or two at a time. However, this is the next step. A new position, where I need to do all of these things at once, plus church administration. As I said before, exciting! And daunting . . .
Gordon has been a wonderful colleague. Experienced, positive, savvy, almost a cross between a sage, an encourager, and a cheerleader. During the past few months, he has coached me in how to serve this congregation fully, and I have appreciated his every suggestion. (I also have thanked him so much for his cautions and corrections! And believe me, I need them. On a regular basis.)
A few days ago, as we sat in the pastor’s office and had one of our last meetings together, Gordon mentioned he felt like Elijah, passing on his ministry to Elisha. (Gosh, if Gordon is casting himself as Elijah, I guess that makes me the other guy—I mean, Elisha.) I laughed, and I was only half-joking when I made the quick come-back, “Well, I sure hope you give me a double portion of your skill in administration, and especially with people!” (Maybe I was more than half-serious, now I come to consider it.)
I have Gordon’s blessing, as well as his dedication in front of the congregation at the end of the service today. He dedicated me for my work at the church and with the congregation, and he also dedicated the president of the congregation, too. I so appreciate his prayers and good wishes. “As long as she is needed,” were Gordon’s words. They will stick in my mind, that is for sure.
So, how did I help Gordon? For the past few months, I was the best colleague that I could be! I know I work well in tandem with people, and especially as a second fiddle. But now, with Gordon’s encouragement and help, I’m moving into the first fiddle position. Wow! I think I am ready. (Gordon says I am! And I respect his knowledge and understanding of human nature very much.) So, I am ready to take up the mantle. Gordon (and his ministry) is a hard act to follow! But, God willing, I can go forward. Lead this congregation. With God’s help, and with the prayers and encouragement of this flock, and my dear friends and prayer partners.
God, thanks for sticking close, right by my side. You and I make a great team, too!
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