Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Day by Day

I must apologize, I have been a little out of whack the last couple of days. Lot on my mind. Today was my first full day back at work, I made it through the entire day and actually got something accomplished. I feel confident and satisfied for the first time in while. I am very tired.

I am playing hooky from choir practice to post tonight. Very light turn out tonight. We have three tenors and one of each bass, alto and soprano. I am just going to run their sound tonight. Oops, we have more coming in. Wow! more folks than usual.

I love my church. Atascocita's First Baptist Church. We are struggling right now. Our pastor recently resigned. He should have left a long time ago. If you are burned out you can only do harm to your congregation. I love him very much. He was there for me during some extremely difficult times in my life. I will refer to him as A. A was the person I processed my fifth step with. Whatever the reason for leaving, the way he left was very poor form.

One Sunday morning the elders announced to the congregation that A resigned and then read his resignation letter. Now, Just up an leaving is forgivable in a variety of jobs, fry cook, ditch digger, car salesman, waiter etc. What I mean by excusable is that you are easily replaced and you don't leave anyone in too much of a lurch, other than the person who has to pull a double shift. If you are a pastor and you just up and leave? Different story. People count on you. Not just for direction, moral support and counseling but like it or not you are sort of a father figure, hero, and anchor in peoples lives. I know he was for me. Now I know I'm not supposed to have expectations but, I did.

I miss A. He was my three am call. (I never would have called him that late, but he would have been there if I did.) He preached at my grandmother's funeral, baptized my daughter and counseled my wife and I. In the last three and a half years God placed him in my life to guide me through the early years of my recovery and my return to Christ. Brother A is a good man whom I will never forget. I felt abandoned by the way he left.

I forgive him
I pray God helps him find his way



Mandylea said...

I disagree about not supposed to have expectations. He was your pastor and with the role come certain expectations and obligations. Yes, you and your congregation should keep in mind that there may be very personal reasons for leaving w/out notice and if I have read your blog right it sounds as if he "slipped out into the night" and that is not cool, esp. for a pastor. I know what it is like to have a special connection to a pastor. It is a connection like no other. I will be praying for you, A, and your congregation.

BTW, I am glad that your first day back to work went well. Just remember not to over do it. And to keep on blogging!!! I think Whitney said it best when she said it is great cheap therapy. Take care.

Jack Mercer said...

Hi Larry,

First, I love the picture! :)

Also, I understand how you feel about the situation. I have been in the ministry for 25 years, (having been a missionary kid--more than that). Any time something happens like this there is more than meets the eye, but I always found it easier to offer the benefit of the doubt. A gave many years to his people and that is what needs to be remembered.

I replied at the Bereans--looking forward to those posts you reference!


Larry said...

There was more stuff to it. I chose not to air it out. I don't think it was anything other than burn-out and poor judgement. Thanks for responding. You are a good morale booster Jack. :)


Helen Losse said...

Hi Larry,
Most of us who've been in church for any length of time have seen many pastors come and go, some with ceremony and some like this (or worse, when half the congregation stands up with him and walks out during Sunday morning worship). Been there. Done that. I know you will miss A. God will send someone to minister in his place. Your family and A will be in my prayres.

Whitney said...

That is a hard one. Just remember, your church needs a leader but you know who you truly worship, not A but God!

Now, I'm thrilled to hear you made it all day and work and still blogged. I'm still only working part time and my eyes are shutting as we speak! But, Mandy is motto truly is that blogging is the best cheap therapy around (although I'm still paying good money for the real deal too!). Seriously, take care and don't push yourself too hard.

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