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How To Welcome A Returning Pastor

August 30th 2007 1 comment so far  

A good shepherd does what it takes to get his sheep to pasture. Obviously he cares for the needs of the sheep. He feeds them. He nurtures their bruised legs as they walk. He even stands in the path of danger in order to protect them on the way. I saw a good example of this while traveling in Colorado on vacation one year. My family and I were driving to our campground””one that was way back in the national forests. As I maneuvered the curves in the two-lane road, we unexpectedly came upon a shepherd standing in the middle of the road while his flock crossed. As I put the car into neutral and watched, the sheep surrounded our car as wave after wave crossed the road. Discerning that we weren’t going to push our way through, the shepherd walked behind us. He placed his body on the outside of the herd once again, protecting them from the next car that might careen through unaware. A good shepherd does what it takes to get his sheep to pasture.

Yet a good shepherd recognizes that he needs to rest his own body and soul at times. This is an important part of shepherding as well. During that same vacation, we went into the nearest mountain town””more of a village than anything else””and ordered dinner (sometimes my family gets tired of my barbecuing). As we sat at the dinner table we noticed the same shepherds. They were enjoying an evening rest along with the tourists. Not one sheep tagged along. The men weren’t anxious about any cars. They just rested for the night. A good shepherd recognizes that he needs to rest his own body and soul at times.

Our Senior Pastor, Chuck, has been away on a sabbatical rest. He has been resting his body and soul like a good shepherd should. Yet he returns soon. His period of God-given rest is nearing its conclusion. We are looking forward to his reunion with us. I suspect, though, that he may be wondering about that return””just as every pastor wonders as he returns from a prolonged absence. You yourself may be wondering how to reconnect and encourage him. Perhaps you are pondering what a pastor even thinks as he walks into his office and begins to dust off the shelves after his absence.

…More about this later

Published by: Paul Utnage



    Sheldon February 8th at 6:55 pm  

    Just a word of encouragement; you have been a great source of blessing over the many years and it was a special day last May when you spoke at my Graduate graduation (Talbot School of Theology) at Biolal University. May God renew your strength as you move forward faithfully.

    For His Kingdom,
    Sheldon S. Mann

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