Thought of the Week:
As I set down to write this thought of the week. I am surrounded by boxes that are packed and boxes that are waiting to be packed. All the time there is a song going through my mind. It goes something like this “Saying good bye, going away. Seems like goodbye’s such a hard thing to say. I know in my heart will meet again. I don’t know where and I don’t know just when. You’re in my heart so until then. Going to laugh, going to cry, saying goodbye” (Muppets Take Manhattan). Some of you reading this are wondering why this song is going through my mind. But those of you who know me well, know why the song is so special to me.
It is a song that my sister and I have used throughout the years to convey our emotions and love to one another when the military or ministry has taken me far from home. So I use it now to share my heart with all of you.
I have had the awesome privilege of being pastor of a wonderful congregation in Newton Falls, Ohio for the past five years and two months. My family and I have made some great friends who have become like family both in the congregation and in the community. We have laughed, loved and cried together. We have cheered our basketball team onto countless victories and our football team to a few victories. I have fond memories of acting the fool and dancing at the football games. As well as times when we have gathered together to say our see you later to people of God who have gone onto be with the Lord. We have made the hard decisions together and we have walked through the muck of life. We have been there for one another in the good times and bad. Every one of you I have had the privileged to know will always have a special place in my heart.
But sometimes to grow and to fulfill God’s will and promise for our lives we have to say goodbye to those who we have loved and ministered with over the years. Sunday I spoke from Deuteronomy 34:1-9. In this passage we see that Israel is getting ready to go through a major transfer of leadership. Moses who God used to bring the nation of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. Moses who has led the children of Israel for over forty years. Who has been the mouthpiece of God and his physical representation for this young nation will not make it out of this passage alive.
Moses climbs the mountain and God shows him the Promise Land. Moses who is 120 years old climbs the mountain. Moses who the scripture tells us has no health issues; climbs the mountain and is buried by God. Pastor why point all of that out? I’m glad you asked. Moses did not die of Old age, he died because his mission was over. Then the people mourned him for thirty days.
When I read this I see four major lessons that can help us when we face major change and move in our lives; especially pastoral change. The first lesson is, God knows when it is time for the leader to go. He cares for the leader and will provide for them and has another mission/ministry in mind. For Moses it was to be with God.
The second lesson is God knows that we get attached to one another and gives us time to mourn. Even though the Israelites are not allowed to bury Moses they are given an extended mourning period. God knows it is not easy to say goodbye to those who have worked side by side with us and lead us in the ways of the Lord, but He gives us the strength, courage, comfort and the perseverance to do so.
Third, I see that God will not leave us without a leader. God raises Joshua up to lead the people into the Promised Land. To fulfill the promises God has given the people.
Finally when the time of mourning the past leader is over, the people must strike their tents. Fully get behind their new leader and follow them into the Promised Land.
If you are going through a pastoral change like the people of Newton Falls CON. Know that God has great things in store for you. Know that if you will let Him, He will use you and your new leader to reach your community in awesome ways. Know that God has plans for your old pastor and will care for them and guide them in the path they are to go.
So inclosing, “Saying good bye, going away. Seems like goodbye’s such a hard thing to say. I know in my heart will meet again. I don’t know where and I don’t know just when. You’re in my heart so until then. Going to laugh, going to cry, saying goodbye” (Muppets Take Manhattan).
Sunday Morning Worship
Sunday, 9:45 AMSunday Morning Worship
Time: Sunday, 9:45 AM
Join us for our Sunday Morning worship services. A time of worship, praise and learning what it means to live out the Gospel message in our community. We also have Children's service and nursery during our worship services.
Sunday, 11:00 AMSunday School
Time: Sunday, 11:00 AM
We have children, teen and adult classes. Nursery is also available
Sunday Evening Services
Sunday, 6:00 PMSunday Evening Services
Time: Sunday, 6:00 PM
Join us Sunday nights has our adults journey through the Bible. Our teens discuss struggles they face and learn to be Christian in uncertain times. Along with this our children have a time of fun and Christian learning and development.