I was so pleased to see the congregation rise and give Pastor Amy Schultz a standing ovation following her resignation statement. That was a class act! Way to go church. You affirmed Amy’s work among you these past two decades. Plus you affirmed her gifts and graces to take on the leadership of the Council, Idaho Church of the Nazarene as solo pastor. Pastor Amy’s last Sunday here will be May 20th and I encourage you to write her a note of appreciation or blessing as she takes up her new assignment.
It is my firm belief that churches make or break pastors. I know when I came to Spokane Valley Church after 20 months in South Dakota, I was a defeated man. I was sure I had misunderstood God’s call upon my life. Surely I was ill-equipped to be a pastor. But the Spokane folks, including my former Sunday School teachers, began calling me “Pastor Bob” one day. They believed in me when I didn’t. They saw graces and calling that I couldn’t detect at all. And slowly, God used their love and belief in me to transform me from a defeated, discouraged, hopeless man into someone who is honestly radically optimistic that God will use me every day. Churches can make a pastor. I’ve seen them destroy pastors as well. Soon, you will have the opportunity to vote on a new pastor. Certainly we want the “perfect man or woman” to lead. But realistically, the only people available as pastors are all flawed human beings desperately in need of God empowering grace. So there is a sense in which it doesn’t matter who comes to lead; he or she will need your prayers, your love, your belief in them, your support, your encouragement, well, you get the picture. Churches make or break pastors. I’m praying that you make the next pastor the best person he/she can be.
Be praying for the Board this week. They have a face to face interview with an excellent candidate. May this conversation help Board and pastor to discern God’s will for all involved.