Monday, May 19, 2008

How Do the Methodist Charge Pastors Do It?

Two, three and even four church charges used to be very common in the United Methodist Church. Yesterday I gained a greater appreciation for these multi-church pastors. Here’s why!

Sunday morning I was in Asheboro, NC to be officially introduced to the congregation as their incoming Intentional Interim Pastor. I preached from Ezekiel 37 a sermon entitled: Graveyards Can Be Birthing Centers. My main point was: There is hope if we will admit that we need God’s help, believe that God can help us and do whatever He tells us to do. I met many good people Sunday morning and Saturday evening at a church cook-out; people who love the Lord and their church. I believe God helped us and the process of relationship building was begun that is needed for a vital trust between this congregation and myself.

After lunch with some of the Asheboro folk Pam and I drove back to Bessemer City, NC for a full evening at my current church. I chaired an open congregational forum discussing the future of the Future Facilities Fund that the church has. The congregation members will be completing a survey over the next two weeks. The intent is to find the current heart and mind of the congregation regarding this fund prior to the arrival of the new pastor. As soon as the open forum concluded I met with the Transition Team for our next to last meeting. We reviewed some ministry job descriptions that some of the working committees within the team had prepared. We discussed what we had learned about ourselves and our church over the last year. The 11 members of this team (including myself) have bonded so strongly over the last 12 months. It will be a year that none of us will ever forget!

I got home last night about 9 pm trying to process a long day of engaging in two different congregations; one that I have come to love dearly over the last four years and one that I will come to love just as much over the next two years. Like I said – I have a greater respect for those pastors who serve multiple congregations week in and week out.

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