I love being a Pastor! It is one of the most challenging things as well as one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. There are a lot of great perks and rewards that come from being in ministry. But it is not always easy. One of the sad realities of being a Pastor is that you have to learn to be good at saying good bye, even while most people don’t give you the opportunity. Over the past 15 years I have taken a variety of Ministry oriented college courses that are designed to give tools to people who are serving in ministry and none of those have ever talked about how to say “good bye.”
We live in a culture where people move around and change churches quite a bit for a variety of reasons. Most people when they decide to leave are just gone from one Sunday to the next, without ever saying good bye. For some reason the general rule on attending a church is that if you are unhappy with something the Pastor did or said, or didn’t do or didn’t say, you leave immediately without ever saying bye. I have learned to accept this because for the most part I have gotten pretty good at Good byes even if I am not given the chance to say it.
But this past week is a very different good bye. This good bye wasn’t because the person was upset or disgruntled, instead he was moving out of state. Last week we said good bye to the person who was my point of contact when we came to the church. Over the last 4 1/2 years he has been an elder, a confidant, the volunteer janitor, the attendance counter, the treasurer, the go to guy for tough conversations, the person who locked up, but more than all of that he was my friend.
Off and on for the last 40 years Rick Crouch has called the EMC church in Glendora his home. I was only here for the last part of it, but I am very grateful I was. Have a great time in Texas Rick!