Our church is in the middle of trying to find a new pastor. A friend of mine was asking me about our church and why we are looking for a new pastor. Easter Sunday will be Pastor Dean and Ruths last Sunday with us. After I told my friendsm, they sent their condolences, lol. Even though that got me thinking about what it means for our church and our pastors family.
We don’t have any problems with the one we have now though, but they are retiring. Retirement can be a difficult transition for all parties involved. retired pastors usually don’t stay in their communities and serve their congregations.
I asked one of our previous pastors why the retiring pastor doesn’t stick around and this is what he said. The reason I asked him was because I wanted him to perform my daughter Jessica’s wedding. And Ellis told me that the time away from the previous congregation allows the retired pastor to continue doing the religious work they have chosen to dedicate their lives to while not interfering with their original congregations. Of course, pastors are not obligated to continue serving. If pastors wish, they can retire to houses by lakes and spend the rest of their days fishing and reading. In Pastor Deans retirement years, I can see him going to many baseball games with his grand kids and enjoying the time with his wife Ruth.
Pastor Dean and Ruth have been wonderful for our congregation. Our church has grown and we have been blessed in countless ways. Finding a new pastor can be an unsettling time for everyone involved because it is a period of change. And not all people handle change well, myself included. St. George Community Church must deal with the process of changing from one pastor to another–grieving over the loss of Pastor Dean and Ruth , while adjusting to a new one and to new ways of doing things. Then Pastor Dean and Ruth must give up the work at our church, and the people who have meant so much to them. Pastor Dean and Ruth will have restructure their lives in very significant ways. I think as a congregation we should take into consideration how difficult this is on them as well as us.
It’s going to be difficult for our church to let go of Pastor Dean and Ruth, and to relinquish the way things have been done in the past. A new pastor may have a hard time becoming established as the congregation’s minister. Pastor Dean and Ruth should feel good about retirement and they feel good about their ministry. They are leaving our church in a much better place that is healthy and strong. Pastor Dean and Ruth have a drive for missions and building up the congregation.
I’m very happy for Pastor Dean and Ruth though. They get to look forward to the perks of retirement–new freedom to travel and to choose whatever activities they wish to participate in. They both want to be closer to their children and how can I blame them for that? I would want the same thing. Dean and Ruth have two adult daughters that they love dearly. Those daughters gave them the most darling grand kids. Not sure if they are cuter than mine, but they are pretty close, lol. Their daughter Allison and her family missionaries in Ethiopia. I can totally understand why Dean and Ruth would want to be close by and for their grand kids to get to know grandpa and grandma.
Every-time I will hear the phrase,, “Don’t shoot the Messenger”, I will think of Pastor Dean. I could always tell that he was going to touch on a touchy topic if he was going to say that. That is one of the things I respect in a pastor though. I don’t think a pastor should be out to stroke egos of the people going to church. I would prefer the pastor to tell me like it is so then I got it right and how God wants it done. They may bruise my ego, but better that then not having eternal life.
I’m not sure how many realize how much a pastor goes through. They put in alot of time and I’m sure energy for those in our congregation. I was thinking about how difficult it is on a pastor because they conduct weddings, do visitations, prepare sermons, and funerals. Our church has had more than it’s share of funerals this past year and it seems to be this year too. That has to be hard on a pastor. Pastor Dean is very active in our community and interfaith groups. They brought Precepts upon Precepts to our church and that lead to many Bible studies that happen through-out the week. I would say that Pastor Dean and Ruth made sure the God’s inspired word was being studied and implemented in our lives.
I will miss them and I will keep them in my prayers during this time of transition. It’s going to be strange to not have them around, but at the same time, God has a plan. We don’t always know what it is, but He does.
I have talked to a few people who are worried that we won’t find someone like Pastor Dean and Ruth since they are so wonderful. My thought on this is that we want someone that God chooses. There will never be anyone like Pastor Dean and Ruth, Pastor Lary and Donna, Pastor Keck and Karen. We shouldn’t expect to find someone like them. I want someone that is doing God’s will and not trying to keep up with what previous pastors and wives have done. Each Pastor that has been called to our church has something special to bring. Well, except one, and I won’t go into that. Our next Pastor and Wife if he is married will hopefully be following God’s will.
I know that Pastor Dean and Ruth are retiring. But at the same time, I know that whatever door opens to them will be God’s calling. Just because they won’t be pastoring at a particular church, doesn’t mean they are leaving the ministry. When you choose to follow Christ, it is a lifelong thing. Well, unless you are Marilyn Manson and that is a whole other topic. Whether a person follows Christ as a church leader, congregational member, board member or what ever, they should understand it is a lifetime commitment. Pastor Dean and Ruth understand this and I’m sure they are very excited to see what God has in store for them next. They will always be in my thoughts and prayers and hold a special place in my heart. One of the greatest things I think we can do is to pray for our pastors.
If you guys happen to read this Pastor Dean and Ruth, remember to keep my email handy… Enjoy your grand kids, retirement and traveling and most of all being ready for that next door to open. You both have worked your entire lives and deserve this more than anyone I can think of. I will miss having that one of a very few people I trust personal things with in the same town though. Thank you for being our pastor and friend…