Dear Friends in Christ,
As our days together wind down, I find myself going about several final tasks. For instance, this is the last time that I will address you in this particular form.
As I write this column in mid-August; the Personnel Committee is about to interview candidates for the interim that will take Zion through the Call process for its new senior pastor. Therefore, I want to share with you some thoughts as you prepare for these new beginnings. This piece came across my desk a few years ago as I was bringing closure to another interim and I have used it as parting advice in each succeeding interim.
The Ten Commandments from the Outgoing Pastor.
- YOU SHALL NOT compare your new pastor with those who have gone before, for truly they are different persons.
- YOU SHALL NOT say to your new pastor, “But our other pastors always did it this way….”
- YOU SHALL NOT assume that your new pastor has ESP. You will need to inform him/her of your comings and goings and your joys and ills.
- YOU SHALL NOT communicate to your previous pastors any matters of gossip about life at Zion, for truly they should not be interested in gossip.
- YOU SHALL NOT withhold your exceeding great capacity of love from your new pastor and his/her family.
- YOU SHALL NOT prejudge persons and situations for your new pastor, for truly s/he will have the wisdom to judge for her/himself.
- YOU SHALL NOT fail to express your thanks and appreciation to your new pastor, even when you suspects s/he already knows.
- YOU SHALL NOT speak too often of your former pastors- and when you do, may it be kindly.
- YOU SHALL NOT forget your new pastor and her/his family at Christmas and on their birthdays with thoughtful remembrances.
- YOU SHALL NOT forget to pray for your new pastor and her/his family regularly.
While these comments are intended to address the coming of a new interim pastor and eventually the arrival of your new senior pastor, the regard for the person and office which they encourage should also be directed toward Pastor Becky, who continues in ministry in your midst!