Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Cry for Stability

The past 18 months have been a combination of amazing and heartbreaking, with everything in between. 

In June 2014, I left my two Tiny Churches and the rural setting for a position as an Associate Pastor at a mid-sized congregation in a major metro area. The Senior Pastor is also a woman, and it's been a great experience to work with a more experienced female colleague. The church is overall healthy and the potential for ministry is immense. I chose to make this transition: I had the option of staying at Tiny Churches or moving. I'm glad I chose to move, because it was right for my family and for me. This is a healthier setting, for sure. However, it was hard to say goodbye to a place and people I loved, even though things were difficult. 

In June 2015, I was ordained an elder in the United Methodist Church. It was a powerful, Spirit-filled experience, made even more powerful because of the rough journey I had to ordination. 

Nora and Walter are "big kids" now and in elementary school. They are doing well, although each of them has some developmental delays that mean I am no stranger to IEP meetings. 

After traumatic ministry experiences in my first two appointments (although there was significant fruit and healing by the time I left my Tiny Churches) and four moves in nine years, I am rather weary of change and transition. I am weary of building relationships and beginning to put down roots, only to have everything change for one reason or another. 

As a leader, I tend to be a change agent...I am not one to be happy with the status quo. But as a person...I really want stability. I want to live someplace for more than a couple years. I want to hold the same position for more than 2-3 years. I want everything to be the same. 

Part of this is a reaction to all the change in my life. Part of it is a reflection of where I am in life...I will be 39 in a few weeks. Part of it is just who I am. 

As a result, I find myself more anxious than usual these days, as we approach the fall season of budgets and "Pastor/SPRC preference forms." I am hoping and praying to stay put...and wondering if that will happen. Will God call me elsewhere? Will the church choose to have me stay? Will there be a budget crisis that will result in my position being cut? 

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