Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

20 years

It used to be that the norm was to land a good job and stay there until retirement.  You might move around a bit, but eventually you put down roots and buy a house.

My parents bought a house early in their marriage.  When it got to be too small, they just added on.  When the property next door became available, they purchased it.   It was a great  place to grow up.  My mom lived there until she moved in with my sister.

Things have changed.  People move and switch jobs with much more frequency.   Many times a job transfer  moves them to the next location.  Purchasing  a house does not mean that you plan to live there until you are old.

For pastor’s — job transfers are the norm.   It is a little different though, in that the pastor is the one who determines where the next job will be (of course in line with God’s leading.)

Here is how it usually works.

You become involved in ministry while attending Bible college.  Upon graduation you may be put on staff at such church — albeit probably not a paid position.  This means that you keep working your ‘other’ job to pay the bills.

Then the norm continues  like this:

Senior pastor at a small church — possible need to supplement income.  Certainly the spouse will work part-time if not full-time.

Stay there 3-7 years then move to a bit bigger church.

Stay there 3-7 years and move to an even bigger church at which time supplemental income from the pastor will not be needed.    However, the spouse may continue to work.

It is not uncommon for pastors to continue this cycle all through their ministry.

What isn’t normal is to have a Pastor start out at a small church and stay there 20 years.    20 years is a long time for a minister to stay when he  is  just starting his first senior pastorate.   Certainly we never thought we would be here this long.  After all I was leaving the land of mom and all our extended family was at least 6 hours away.  Yet here we are 20 years later.

Didn’t we ever feel the urge to move on?  Oh, yes –just never at the same time.   We truly believe that when God desires for us to move that He will tell both of us at the same time.

We have been here long enough to see:

the church go from ‘home missions’ status to ‘general council’ status

the children grow up and have children

people grow in their relationship with God

children begin to be musically inclined and then watch that blossom

the church become debt free!!!

our children start and finish at the same school — this is almost unheard of in the ministry

people with discord and/or pride leave and come to us later in sincere apology and humbleness.    Love covers a multitude of wrongs!

We have a wonderful group of people who are moving forward for the kingdom of  God.    It is our privilege to be a part of it.  We leave our future in the hands of God.  We trust that He will continue to direct us and the church.

til next time

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February 19, 2011 - Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,

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