Only From A Distance

“Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance…”

Deuteronomy 32:52

Pastoring is a hard job. Of course, it’s not the only hard job in the world. Hospital nurses, teachers, and police officers have it pretty rough, too. There are plenty of people in the world whose vocation is a heavy load. But pastoring is hard. 

For one thing, you usually don’t see the full outcome of your ministry in a place. It comes later, sometimes much later. Moses struggled for decades to coax the Israelite people through the wilderness. But he didn’t inherit their God-given destiny along with them.

For another thing, infallibility doesn’t come with God’s call to ministry. The reason that Moses didn’t enter the Promised Land was that he lost his cool. (Check out Numbers 20:7-12 for the details.) At the risk of sounding blindingly obvious, pastors aren’t perfect.

For yet another thing, sometimes it’s your job as a pastor to get God’s people to go where they don’t want to go. While they wandered, the people constantly complained. They dreamed of going back to Egypt… you know, back to slavery. It’s tragic but also understandable that Moses lost it.

Moses: called by God for a pivotal season, yet flawed like the rest of us.

Like many of you, I’ve seen several lead pastors come and go. We’ve been joyfully aware of their strengths. We’ve been keenly aware of their weaknesses. Each one got some things right. Each one got some things wrong. But every single one of them shaped PTCUMC in ways that have not yet been fully revealed.

We will see the fruit of Pastor Mark’s ministry unfolding for years to come. We will see the same for Pastor Matt after he moves on to another field someday down the line. I hope we will be in constant prayer for Mark, Matt, and for every pastor that comes here to serve.

Lord knows they need it. Not because there’s something wrong with PTCUMC (though we aren’t perfect, either), but because pastoring is a hard job.

The Burgess Family wants to say thank you for all you did to make our send-off day so very special. You touched our hearts Sunday! We are very grateful! Mark & Shannon (PS Set free your inner Barnabas!)