For many years I’ve read the words of many who espouse that pastors should remain somewhat detached from their people. Serve them well, but don’t get too close. We don’t want to get too close because when we do, we could get burned, hurt, have a hard time saying the “hard” things that maybe we’ll have to someday say, because leaving will be harder …
I disagree with that approach. We need to allow ourselves to be adopted into a church family, to become one of them, to be a part of them. Get close. We, as pastors, need our people as much, if not more, than they need us.
This past Wednesday I was sent to the ER for an emergency appendectomy. My poor wife spent most of Wednesday afternoon and evening, and all day Thursday, fielding phone calls, text messages and emails from our church family asking about me, letting us know they were praying for us. On Friday I spent a good part of my day fielding those same messages from my hospital room and getting visitors once we arrived home. I can’t tell you the number of people today (Sunday at church) who have asked me how I’m doing.
What an encouragement from my family. Yup, they are my family. I love them. And I know they love me and us. Today marks eighteen years here at our church and I wouldn’t trade the relationships for anything, even “protection” from the stuff that “could” happen when we become family. Don’t trade the benefits to protect yourself from what could be.
Thanks AUC for allowing us to be a part of your family, for loving us, for praying for us, and for eighteen amazing years.