WHEN A PASTOR RETIRES- FORCED SEPARATION.
Over at Koinonia, Professor of NT Greek, Pastor, and Author Bill Mounce has a regular Monday morning column. Normally his column is about some aspect of reading, interpreting, and understanding our Greek New Testaments. This Monday, he took time instead to discuss the forced separation of a sinning pastor. His point was, wouldn't it be better if the pastor though removed from his position could yet remain in the body of believers which know him as he lives out his repentance. click here to read article an Koinonia. (I'm thinking Mounce is assuming the situation involves a pastor truly repentant and not a continuing threat to the body.)
Mounce writes: "I find myself scratching my head wondering why they were not allowed contact with the very body of Christ that should have been the greatest source of joy and comfort and grace and confrontation and love and discipline."
This started me thinking about another kind of FORCED SEPARATION that I have heard mentioned, and which appears to be a fairly normative practice - I TRULY hope that it's not.
I have observed through experience, and conversation, that Pastors who have reached a point in their lives where they would like to step down as Pastor, perhaps retire, maybe take a break from the front lines are OFTEN forced to find a new church in order to make the transition easier for the NEW pastor and congregation.
It sounds like this when communicated to me: "Pastor X. is about to retire from the ministry, it'll be necessary for him to SWITCH churches to make it easier for the new Pastor to get established."
Do you think there is something wrong with this picture?
Is this the norm? Does it happen quite frequently? if not normally? or am I overstating the case? Hope I am.
Shouldn't the church of God in Jesus Christ, elect, bought, washed and cleansed, forgiven and renewed by the Holy Ghost be able to do better for Love's sake and for the sake of Jesus Christ?
I'm NOT MAKING THIS STUFF UP! Found the following quote on a quick google search on "Preparing for your Pastors Retirement."
"When your pastor retires, he will probably have to relocate. In most cases it is not good for either the pastor or the church for the retiring pastor to remain in the area. When a new minister replaces the retiring pastor people in the congregation will have a difficult time transitioning to the new leadership if the previous pastor is still in the area. They will feel conflicted emotionally and think they are betraying the former pastor if they adapt to changes proposed by the new pastor." click here for full article
You may strongly disagree with me. Perhaps experience has taught you it is better to set love aside, to disregard the Word of God for very practical reasons involved in transitions. Please know that I speaking from what I HOPE could be the case and what I believe SHOULD be the case. Pastors are brothers in Christ, not bosses, not CEO's and not employees either. Their office is biblical, and our relationships together should be biblical as well.
Maybe I'm wrong here. But this whole approach to the retirement of a Pastor who served for the Glory of God for many years seems quite apart from the word of God and from The Wisdom from above that is pure and peacable.
For his glory,