We had a safe drive to our new location – 5 hours. We are safely here and ready to start the first of 6 two-day pastor’s conferences tomorrow. Thanks for praying!
Although my body is in India, my thoughts often default to home and Main Street Baptist Church. This time in India marks a major transition in my ministry at home. Rev. Travis Hart, a fine, godly young man who is the perfect man to take the church to the next stage in God’s plan for it, has come and is working in the church. We will transition over the coming months and I will still be part of the church in some capacity for at least another year and a half. However the time of me as the sole pastor of the church is over. God is taking the burden of shepherding these sheep from me and giving it to Travis. And I am ready for this to happen.
I am ready to let someone with more ideas and energy to take over the church. I am ready to focus on ministries where I can make the greatest contribution, such as India, World View Plus for teens, marriage counseling and retreats and spiritual warfare counseling and teaching. I am ready to focus on these. I am ready to spend more time with my family. I am ready to slow the pace at which I have been living. I am ready. Travis is ready. The church is ready.
Still, it is the closing of a large chapter in my life, the largest except for my family. The 33 ½ tears spent at MSBC have been rich, rewarding, stretching and immensely gratifying. I look back with joy and satisfaction. That doesn’t mean there aren’t regrets or things I wish I would have done better, but that will have to be the subject of another blog. This close will come gradually, but it has already begun. Starting the process of letting go of this church and letting Travis start taking over is both very easy and immensely hard. Yes, I am ready, but it is hard to let go of such a wonderful part of my life.
There is a reality of aging, of changing, of not being able to again do what I did. There is the solemnness that I have had my opportunity and that part of ministry is now over. It is what it is. There is the adjustment to finding my role in the new order of things. Mainly, letting go is sad because the past was so good. It’s hard to see this chapter close, for I don’t think there has ever been a nicer, better, easier church to pastor than Main Street Baptist Church, Doylestown, PA. If we wouldn’t age I could keep pastoring there forever, but that’s not God’s way with things. Because the memories are so good I’m not running away in bitterness or hurt. This is my family, my life, and while this is a good, necessary, important transition, it is still a major transition, but one we all must make.
Ruth 4:15 15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age.
Psalm 92:14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green,
Isaiah 46:4 4Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
How are you adjusting to the transitions God is bringing about in your life as you age? Are you able to thank Him for what He has done in the past? Can you trust Him for His future plan for you? Are you willing to keep serving Him in whatever capacity possible as long as you live?