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SURVIVING THE SENIOR PASTOR'S DEPARTURE

The staff sat silent. Jim, our senior pastor, was reading the letter of resignation he would present to the board that night. When he finished, my throat was tight. Had I tried to speak, I would have broken into tears. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see our children's director trying not to cry, too.

I'd been afraid this was going to happen. It had been a rough year for Jim-a rough six years, actually. A month before, though, we had gone to lunch, and he'd said he had turned down the most recent overture from somewhere else.

The meeting closed quickly. As I left the room, I couldn't look at him.

I can't believe it, I thought. This is the second time in my seven years here that my senior pastor has departed.

It was my birthday, too. "Happy birthday, Len," I said out loud as I started the car to drive home.

I know some of my colleagues in other churches would look at the resignation of their senior pastor as a wonderful gift from the Lord. Not so here. We were a close staff. We laughed ...

May/June
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