From the Pastor | Change.
Three years ago I found out I would be moving to Abingdon, Illinois to be the pastor at Abingdon United Methodist Church. I remember the anxiety. Not so much anxiety about where I was going or what I would be doing, but I remember the anxiety brought on by ever-present change. I was suddenly the pastor at Collinsville but also planning worship and meeting the staff in Abingdon. Change. I was trying to remember all the new people I was meeting, mostly by phone. Change. My wife and I were trying to figure out childcare and what it meant for her to go on leave (when we couldn't find childcare). Change. We would be further from Carrie's family. Change. The list was endless. There was so much change happening in our lives and there were moments that it was overwhelming.
Have you ever felt like everything was changing and it was overwhelming? Maybe you, even, feel that way right now? I have one little bit of advice: Remember that all the best parts of life are actually change. Think about it for a second. Whether it was a trip you took (even if its an annual trip it was once a new trip and there are changes that surprises that come with every trip), whether it was a date, marriage, a new friendship, the birth of a baby, a new pet... change is at the heart of all the good parts of life.
A new pastor will be coming to Abingdon United Methodist Church soon. First, that means there is change coming. Some of it will be welcome and some of it maybe uncomfortable. Remember: change is responsible for some of the best things in life. Also, try to keep-in-mind that a new pastor is going through a lot of change, too. Try to find ways to show her or him the best of Abingdon. I'm sharing some links below. I didn't write these, but they are some excellent bits of advice when welcoming a new pastor:
Discipleship Ministries suggest 15 ways to welcome a new pastor.
The Lewis Center for Church Leadership suggests 50 Ways to Welcome a New Pastor.