Itineracy: A word that many people don’t know nor have ever heard of before; however, living the life of a United Methodist Pastor, this word holds incredible importance. Last week, when I took my vows of ordination, I had to say that I would be willing to serve where ever the Bishop and Cabinet deemed necessary for the good of our conference.
Itineracy has a big positive in that as a pastor, we are guaranteed an appointment for ministry, it’s just that every June, there is a chance we can be moved. When I first entered the ministry, this wasn’t a big problem at all. The only responsibility I had was to my dog and cat and as long as I fed them once per day and they both required the litter box be cleaned out, they were good. It’s a much bigger ordeal now.
Tonight, I had to minister to my 12-year-old son who was grieving the loss of all his friends. He’s lived here for 4 years and he wasn’t (as of yet) been called to iteneracy. My 15-year-old has been giving me big hugs all week. Not saying anything, but just a big hug. She realizes the changes that are being placed on her. This makes me sad. I know they are resilient and will make new friends but as a dad, I still hurt for my children.
Jill has the most experience being itinerant as she has been doing this her whole life. She has been ministering to me and loving me as I try to “figure everything out.”
Coming back from meeting with the current pastor of Union today, I realized that I too was nervous. This is a different situation, a different group of people, a different job, a different vision, a different plan, different goals and it can quickly stress me out but I try to keep coming back to the simple of what I do as a minister:
1. Help them connect with each other (inside the church and outside the church) and Jesus.
2. Meet them where they are and help them grow to the next level in their spiritual journey.
3. Serve them and help them serve each other.
I truly believe that if we do these things and do them well that all else will be taken care of by God in some incredible ways. When it comes down to it, God will take care of our family during this season of itineracy just like He always has.
God desires for us to trust Him with everything we are and all that we have. That’s where faith really begins when we place the trust of our real, everyday lives into the hands of a God that we can’t see. Isn’t that cool?
So, this Wednesday will be move day and all the pastor’s who are moving will be out of their current homes by noon and the new pastors can move in at 12:01! The pastor’s first sermon will be Sunday (Father’s day) and it is probably one of the most hectic times of a pastors life.
This will be my 4th time moving and my hope and prayer is that it will be our last for a very long time because that will mean we are being successful in connecting, growing and serving the people of Union: The Church at Chelsea Park!!
If you are a PK/Pastor/Pastor’s Spouse, please use the comment section to share your favorite move experience/s.