Two years ago, I was serving on two search committees. One was for our high school’s Christian Ministries coordinator, a position that had been vacant for two years and that I had helped step in to partly fill. The other was for our church’s senior pastor position. At that point we had had an interim for a good while (after a series of shorter interim preachers). As the school year turned to a close, both positions were filled. The CMC would be coming in from one of the Carolinas. The pastor would be coming in from Texas. If nothing else, I was glad to have the positions filled with people who were competent and spoke well of the faith. By that November, our Christian Ministries coordinator had called it quits. This past Sunday, a couple of months shy of two full years, our pastor announced he would be going to the mainland in view of a call.
Turns out I don’t have a great track record with search committees.
And so second verse same as the first. We’re still without a Christian Ministries coordinator at the high school. I’m doing what I can to hold onto my teaching line while adding a faith integration assignment while also working with the chapel team each week. I assume the next few weeks will bring some kind of “wrap up” to our current pastor’s time on the island.
There is one difference this time around, something at play that wasn’t on the radar two years ago: our high school’s principal is also moving on. That’s a good thing, first for her. She’s been at it for a long time and has more than earned an opportunity to rest and redirect. I have often joked that when she retires, I retire. Either way, it adds an interesting twist to my own current situation. I did, a couple of months ago, let the powers-that-be know that I was not planning on continuing in the “5-year vocational stretch” with Christian Ministries beyond the 2021-2022 school year. Five years is a long time for something so significant to be so temporary. And so, if anything, this next year will hopefully be about putting “things learned” into practice.
It’s odd. After last week’s announcement at church, it felt a bit like a story that had stalled was moving again. That’s true on multiple levels and is more of an observation than a judgment. What’s odd is that it’s coming so quickly.
And so a summer pastor-less, with a principal in transition, continuing a long-term temporary task. If nothing else, it is a time where God can continue to show His faithfulness. I definitely have questions for Him. And I’m glad He is with me, with us, at all times and not just in times like these. It’s a real reminder of where hope should reside. And it is also a very powerful reminder of the significance of this question: what’s a leader for?