“So Rick, there’s something I’d like to talk to you about. How would you like to get your feet wet by becoming a pastor at a church?”
I have to admit, I was a bit shocked with the call. I had started “answering the call” about exploring becoming a pastor, in Methodist terms a “local pastor,” a process that starts with a slow progression of studies, an appearance in front of a committee and then, a bunch of studying resulting eventually in being appointed. No, this was going to skip all that, it was in Monopoly parlance the same as drawing a ‘go directly to a church, do not pass go, do not collect $200’ card.
Maybe what was even more shocking was that I said “yes” which explains why I am sitting here in the pastor’s office, correction, my office, waiting for a church council meeting. Yes, it’s me, Pastor Rick, the pastor at West Springfield United Methodist Church, Massachusetts.
I’ve served for four Sundays so far, including two with communion. I am still getting used to the whole idea but have come to accept that if this is what God wants, well who am I to argue? It’s funny, last night I went to a district meeting with my pastor, Rev. Joy from Hope UMC. As we were walking in we were joking and at one point she said “hey, you were the one that chose to leave.” I thought about that comment later in the evening and if I had been a little fast, a little more quick on the response I suppose I should have said, “it wasn’t me, I was sent.” You see, that’s how this kind of works in Methodism. In fact our bishop talked about the ‘DNA’ of the Methodists includes being sent by your church. When I decided to ‘answer my call’ I presented myself to the congregation at my church and they ‘sent’ me on my way (of course they, me, and Julie all thought that would take a bit longer than it did!).
SO, the clock is ticking, I need to get things ready, here at my church.