Friday, January 08, 2016

Leaving the weekly pastors breakfast

I'd been thinking about it for some time - probably a couple of years, actually - but I finally bowed out of the pastors breakfast gathering I had been part of for the past 16 years.

When I moved here and started pastoring a church I was invited to a weekly gathering of local pastors. It wasn't a "pastors association." It was more just an informal time of getting together for fellowship. At that time we had 6 small churches connected into one benevolence association to serve our area. We started out just meeting at each others church for prayer and discussion. At different times we would read books together, or go out for breakfast, or something similar. Lately we've just been doing breakfast every Thursday morning from about 7:45-9 am. For quite awhile 5 of the 6 pastors attended regularly. At one point - for several years - it was down to just myself and Tom. For the past several years Steve had joined us, and whoever happened to be the Methodist pastor. Tom is the lone original member (and may, in fact, be who started it all).

Well, once I was not pastoring anymore I felt a little odd getting together with them. Not that they ever made me feel that way, but not only was I no longer a pastor, I also wondered if my presence in the group made it difficult for the pastor who followed me to join.

So... this week I let them know that I was ending my Thursday breakfasts with them. It's not just that I'm not a pastor, but with Jane home it makes things a little different, plus I think it's time I move on to something else. I have a couple other options I am pondering. I also still meet with Tom one morning a week for breakfast, so it's not like I'll be totally out of the loop.

I can't say enough how helpful these weekly times were over the years. We could encourage one another, pray for one another, grieve with one another, learn from one another... and generally just know that we weren't alone. I don't believe I would have lasted near as long as I did without this group. So it's a little sad to be done, but I am grateful to have been a part of it.