We got a bit of news yesterday at church. Our senior pastor announced that he will be stepping down this summer. He is not ill (a blessing after his battle with leukemia), there are no problems, he simply feels God calling him into a new season. He’ll move into a supporting role, at least for a while, as our associate pastor moves into the senior pastor position. Changes are coming.
After seeing lots of reactions to the news, I’ve been thinking about our reactions to change. Human beings often balk at change. We rail against it. We like things to stay the same.
My reaction? I’m excited for our pastor. I know that our church will change, and we will miss seeing him in the pulpit Sunday after Sunday. That’s okay. It’s different now than it was two years ago. Even if our senior pastor remained in that position for the next 10 years, our church would change. If not, it would become stagnant. Stagnation is death.
People have asked me if I thought people would leave as a result of this change. Probably. Our congregation is fairly fluid, so I’m sure there will be people who leave for any number of reasons, including this particular change. Do I think there will be a mass exodus? No. Our pastor is a wonderful man, but he’s not the sole reason our church is vital. That’s because of the Holy Spirit.
Our church is in good hands—the hands it’s always been in—God’s. We’ve sent notes to both our current and future senior pastors expressing our support and sharing this sentiment. God is in control; no change can affect that.
There will be changes in your life in the coming year. How will you react? Will you run? Cry? Rail against it? Accept it? Embrace it? The choice is yours.