Sunday, February 14, 2016

Short & Sweet

Compared to my previous resignation as pastor, this time round my notice was short. Last time I gave 5 months' notice but it is only 2 months this time. I have learnt my lesson that it would be good for both sides not to have too long a period when a pastor is about to leave the church while he still preaches in the meantime. Today I've preached my final double whamper. There is hardly any more difficult task than to preach twice consecutively in high octane with fire and brimstone messages.  I preached from 2 Tim 3,1-17 but picked on several parts over 35 mins. In the 2nd service,  I continued to ch. 4 and preached from the first 8 verses over 30 mins. The theme is the function of God's Word. As 2 Tim is considered Paul's swansong or farewell address, I tried to link that with my impending departure. Although I attempted to hide my sadness over my departure, several of the testimonies were given to place my ministry in a broader context of pastoring this church for nearly 14 months today.
I told my congregation that last December I preached 20 messages and 18 for church members in and outside of church. I told my congregation how even my brothers' urgent request for a last Christmas with my dad went unheeded because of ministry commitments in church. I told my congregation that I had to leave my son a day earlier before his departure to NZ because of ministry back in Ranau. There is no doubt why I related this and other stories as I have been nothing less than totally committed in serving this church with my tears and sweat since I joined it as pastor on 31st Dec 2014. It did move a few members to tears when I related how on New Year's Day 1st Jan, I received a call from a deacon who recorded the year's income and expenses until 31st Dec and he got it done on New Year's Day. If  I have a couple more deacons like that it would be almost impossible to leave the church. He told me later that he was moved to tears when I commended him for his faithfulness. But I intend this transition period to be short and sweet. Over lunch my member invited me over to their table and asked why I was leaving the church. "We have not heard you enough, pastor." In my heart I replied I had preached 100 sermons in church last year but thank you for not getting bored with the pastor's preaching.

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