I am not sure what to say or how to react to the trend of moving from place to place, from church to church, from job to job as if the ultimate goal was to just "find the right place to thrive", I am a witness that most of the times the willingness and courage to stay pays off.
So many times I have wanted to run, leave, move, and get a "fresh start" but over and over again I discover that this is often the easy way out. Don't get me wrong, sometimes you have to move. But I wonder how many times is enough.
It is also astonishing that the same ones who leave, are the ones that point fingers at the flaws of those who stay.
I have been a Pastor for almost 10 years, in ministry for 13, and serving in the church for 27. You have no idea how many people I have seen come and go. I have heard the stories, listened to the arguments, and have a pretty good discernment when it comes to meeting new people.
Last year I felt (a few times) like it was time to move and move on, and I have reasons to justify it; I just couldn't take it anymore. I heard somewhere that Pastors lose 7 important people in their lives every year. And I when I say lose, I don't mean that they die... they leave.
Maybe they get offended, didn't like something you did or a decision you made, or simply feel like God is telling them to move. Needless to say that the voice of God never told them to discuss with their spiritual leader. A lot of times these are people you invested time, energy, and even resources on. One day they don't like you or what you did, and they leave.
The challenge of course is that you can't say anything to anyone, so you just keep it to yourself. Your kids wonder and ask, your spouse hurts and walks with you. And the rest of the people make their own assumptions.
When this happens the danger is to neglect those who stay. If you stop and look around the number of those brave men and women who are willing to walk with you is greater than the ones that have left.
The calling is too big, the mission is bigger than us.
I am in awe of how our family has pulled together in the work of ministry.
And here is the challenge: to love people anyway. I ask God over and over again, despite the hurt that He is constantly healing, to teach me how to love people. To still be hopeful and to trust His promises over and over again.
He has never failed me, and never will.
Have you ever felt like moving is the answer? Consider praying for courage to stay. Maybe your purpose is right in front of you, don’t run from it.