9 Reasons The Pastor Should Leave; Every Once In A While
It is good that the pastor/preacher is gone from time to time and I can easily prove it. We just finished recording the question and answer podcast from Sunday’s Sermon with Russ Ingram who was our guest preacher and who is an elder at our church. (http://bit.ly/fxA3g) Russ did a great job and did it in an Eagle Heights record of 22 minutes. So not only did Russ do a commendable job of saying what the text meant, but he did it so fast that everyone was early to lunch. Needless to say, I will think twice about letting Russ preach again, because if I let him preach again I might not have a job when I come home. But all attempted humor aside, it is a blessing that the people of Eagle Heights will let me take a weekend away and it is even better than I can trust men in our own church to rightly divide the word of truth when I need to be somewhere else. My absence this weekend confirmed that there are capable and gifted men, displaying the benefit of an absent pastor.
Here are several other reasons that I think it is good for me as the pastor/preacher to be gone on Sunday a couple of times a year:
- My absence reminds people that the church has several pastors or elders who are just as much a pastor/elder as I am.
- My absence gives those elders a chance to be out front and visibly leading in the church.
- My absence reminds people how gifted and talented our staff is in making sure that everything continues just as it would if I were present.
- My absence lets the people of Eagle Heights hear someone else herald God’s word. A consistent voice is good and implied by the office of elder/pastor, but a little variety keeps things interesting.
- My absence lets Mindy and Ryan think they are in charge:) That has got to be worth something.
- My absence from preaching on Sunday allows me to catch up on administrative work such as writing reference letters, doing staff evaluations, meeting with people in the church, working on budget details, etc. etc. There are many things that take a back seat to a full week of study for preaching, being gone and not preaching allows me to catch up.
- My absence reminds me that Eagle Heights is not my church but the church of Jesus Christ who bought it with his own blood. Jesus is the one who will sustain and keep His church, not me. Yes, he has called and even gifted myself and others to lead, but the church is not mine and does not solely depend on me and my efforts. Jesus does not need me for He is the author and sustainer of his bride, by the power of His word, through the work of the Holy Spirit.
- My absence reminds me how much I love the people of Eagle Heights and produces in me thankfulness that God has let me be a part of such a great church. Absence does make the heart grow fonder.
- My absence allows me to go away and be sharpened and challenged and renewed so I can come back and call the people of Eagle Heights to love God’s word and live for His glory through Jesus. It is an amazing gift that the people of Eagle Heights would let its staff go away and be encouraged by others. Consequently, it stands to reason that a challenged and encouraged staff will be better equipped to challenge and encourage the people they serve.
I love preaching at Eagle Heights and I love the people at Eagle Heights, but a couple of times a year it is good and healthy for me to be away. I am grateful that my time in Minneapolis this weekend taught me this truth.