This week we have been talking about the effects of a pastor’s resignation. I mentioned earlier that there is often a feeling of betrayal when a pastor leaves. It is something that cannot be helped. Often it is the youngest church members that have the hardest time understanding it. Especially when a pastor loves the kids of the church.
One of our 9 year old members has the feeling that I am leaving him. He is a sharp and perceptive young man that presented to his mother a very profound thought way beyond his years. He asked her, “I thought he was the shepherd of the flock and was here to stay with us and watch over us. Why is he leaving us if he is our shepherd?” I have thought several days now about this question and how to reply.
A pastor is a shepherd to the flock of God. The flock in which God calls Him to. The truth be told, he is only a shepherd working under the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Though we are supposed to shepherd the flock of God, we are in submission to the Great Shepherd. Even though God calls pastors to individual flocks, He sees things from a wider perspective, meaning the whole body of Christ. The flock as a whole. The shepherd (pastor) serves in the field that God desires. Now the fact is, the sheep of the flock a pastor serves in love him and as Jesus said, “know His voice.” No matter how difficult, there are times when the Chief Shepherd asks the under-shepherds to change fields. Because God has specific callings and plans for each under-shepherd and because the Chief Shepherd knows what is best for the flock, He shapes the will of the shepherd.
The Apostle Paul, who challenged every pastor to shepherd the flock of God, moved around to different fields. He was not betraying them but was doing what was best for the flock. We may not understand these things but we must keep our eyes on the Chief Shepherd. He will never disappoint.