They’ve said most of their goodbyes. Later this week, they will load the truck and the townhouse will be empty. In a few days, our dear friends and co-laborers, Thad and Nikki Yessa along with their little girls will be on their way to St. Louis, Missouri, where they will join the staff of a Baptist church in the west suburbs.
They are leaving us – exactly as we hoped and prayed they would.
Every church should play its role in the development of future churches. Some congregations plant new churches while others contribute in different ways. It’s true that our church may not plant a new church, but our church shares in the development of the future church by training the next generation of pastors and ministry families.
The sixty-four-year history of First Calvary tells the stories of people serving in local churches all across the United States having received a significant part of their training with us. Over the last nineteen years, nine men and their families have been with us as assistant pastors, ministry staff, or interns. Five of those now serve as senior pastors and four as assistant pastors. It has been our privilege to share in the lives of these men, both receiving from them and contributing to them.
It is hard to say good bye. With each family we quickly develop relationships that make the separation hard, but the benefits received are worth the pain of the leaving.
Who will be the next intern we train or staff member we embrace? That is an open question, but I hope our church will continue to fund and promote this joyful opportunity.
While we stay as others move away, the time will come when we will leave too. The facts of the matter are all pastorates are interim and all memberships are temporary. None of us is going to be here forever. All of us will leave for different assignments in God’s kingdom or go to be with the Lord at our deaths. Therefore, we must make the most of our time where God has us now, and we must leave the work better than when we arrived. We want to be in the chain Paul described to Timothy.
And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2).
May God bless Thad and Nikki, and may God bless you as you serve Him in the place where He has you as long as He has you there.
As always I welcome your feedback and any suggestions you might have for an upcoming Lunchtime Musing. - Mike VerWay