Today marks the end of eight consecutive years of weekly Perspectives articles. I don’t recall having missed a single week of these articles. That’s not intended to be braggadocios, just factual.
Frankly, every year at this time I ask myself whether I should keep writing. Just about the time I’m inclined to stop, I bump into or hear from someone who expresses heartfelt appreciation for an article he or she just read. That’s usually enough to keep me going. Time will tell.
In the meantime, this week I thought I’d share some wisdom from our friend Charlie Brown:
- Life isn’t meant to be easy, it’s meant to be lived. Sometimes happy, other times rough. But with every up and down you learn lessons that make you strong.
- As we grow up we realize it is less important to have lots of friends and more important to have real ones.
- The smile on my face doesn’t mean my life is perfect. It means I appreciate what I have and what I have been blessed with. I choose to be happy.
- There are moments in life when you miss someone so much you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real.
- The less you respond to rude, critical, argumentative people, the more peaceful your life will become.
- I don’t have time to worry about who doesn’t like me. I’m too busy loving the people who love me.
- A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.
- Worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening. It just stops you from enjoying the good stuff.
- You may feel lost and alone but God knows exactly where you are and he has a plan for your life.
Today’s article is titled Advice to Retired Pastors and Their Relationship to the New Pastors in Their Former Congregations by Rev. Fred C. Jacobi.
While you and I might not agree totally with these suggestions, they are worthy of consideration. I also understand that some pastors are easier to follow than others and that some succession plans simply don’t work as well as intended. Here we go:
- Stay away from the parish at least six months to a year, allowing the new man to “settle in.”
- Don’t attend Church Council or Voters Meetings. That’s the reason you retired!
- Refer all weddings, baptisms, funerals, etc. to the new pastor. The worst thing that can happen is for him to know you did something behind his back.
- If you attend a Bible Class he is conducting, keep a low profile.
- Treat him as your Pastor.
- Do not criticize him behind his back. You may think you have said something in confidence, but most often he will hear about it. He will obviously have some faults, but so did you!
- Do something that advances the ministry. Help with shut-in calls or become a Stephen minister.
- Treat him with respect.
- Let the vision and new ideas come from him and the church leadership – not from you.
- Feel free to help out with leading worship at other churches.
- If the new man feels uncomfortable with anything you are doing, back off!
- Sit down with him and assess your relationship from time to time.
- Allow him to do spiritual advising as much as possible.
- Keep him and his family in your prayers.
- Remember that each new pastor builds on the work of former pastors. Don’t allow members to extol their favorite pastor to the detriment of others.
- Enjoy your former congregation members, but remember they are friends, not your parishioners!
- Do everything possible to make the transition a smooth one.
- Go along with his new ideas about worship and ministry. Variety is the spice of life.
- Don’t talk about the way you used to do things.
- Do everything with a humble spirit.
A Johannesburg South Africa filling station has become quite a landmark in Gauteng with its daily Petrol Pump Wisdom – uplifting quotes written on a chalkboard. Some motorists say they deliberately travel this route just to read the quote which brightens their day. Here are some:
- Stop trying to make everybody happy. You’re not tequila.
- Don’t do something permanently stupid because you’re temporarily upset.
- Be who you needed when you were younger.
- It’s better to walk alone than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.
- If you have to choose between drinking wine or being skinny would you choose red or white?
- When you forgive you heal. When you let go you grow.
- Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future.
- In a world where you can be anything, be kind.
- When you make a commitment you build hope. When you keep it you build trust.
- May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears –Nelson Mandela
- The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
- Why do we only rest in peace? Why don’t we live in peace also?
God bless your day!