By Pastor Elijah
When a pastor announces retirement or resignation, members of the congregation experience a wide range of emotions, all of which are understandable and acceptable. This is because as human beings, we are wired to form habits and settle into them fairly quickly. Our pastors play a significant role in the formation and sustenance of those habits, hence when they leave (for better or worse) we are left with some anxiety about the next steps in our lives both as individual believers and as a congregation. The word that encapsulates all of this is change. Let me take a few moments to address change on two levels: 1. The meaning of change and 2. The opportunities offered by change.
As a verb, change is “make or become different” and as a noun, change is “the act or instance of making or becoming different.” The Bible supports change as seen in 2 Corinthians 2:18, “And we all, with unveiled faces, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
It is in light of change as that which moves us from one degree of glory to another that we embrace the transition we are going through at Good Sam. We seek to find ways to build on the faithful ministry of Pastor Mitch. Doing so requires several things.
It takes courage to effect change. All you have to do is imagine showing up at worship only to find your coveted “Lutheran” back pew occupied as the usher guides you to the front row.
Are there things that Good Sam has never tried before, which when implemented, will infuse new energy? What are those things? Now is the time to bring them out.
Are Lutherans allowed to be creative? Lutherans are the greatest proponents of grace and freedom in Christ. We shouldn’t be afraid to try cool things if they will add to or enhance our experience as believers of Good Sam.
I will let Hebrews speak for itself. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.” Hebrews 11:1-3 NRSV
It is my greatest joy to accompany you in the next 6 months as we open ourselves up and prepare for a great future under the spiritual direction of the person that God has already chosen to be the next pastor of Good Sam.