the "goodbye"

i know that there are some people from my church who may be reading this and you may not want to read any further, because i am going to be pretty honest about my feelings from this morning’s service….

consider yourself warned….

as i sat in this morning’s service i wondered, “would they say anything? would they bring us up and pray over us as so often happens when key people at a church leave and for the most part things are on good terms?” well, as the service came to a close and my wife did a knock out job on the song “worthy is the lamb”, i mean the way it ended brought people to their feet, i thought for sure that our sp would say something. and all he said was “wow, kim, that was a great way to end things.” huh? what did that mean? end the service or end our time here? well, it must have been end the service because he dismissed everyone and encouraged everyone to go back and ge some coffee & donuts, and reminded them that next sunday they would be bringing in a new pastor. well, what about the one leaving?

now, to be fair there was a nice thing written up in our church’s program (bulletin) this morning from our sp, but who the heck reads those? i can remember that close to just about every staff meeting we have had in the 5 and a half years i have been here that we have always said, “why doesn’t anyone read the program?” so yeah, something was mentioned in a little read program. i am sitting here in my now empty office thinking, “wow, that really left me feeling empty!” but i reflect on the words that a friend shared with me a while back, “How a group chooses to say goodbye to you says a lot about that group.” and what this group of church leaders are saying to me is thanks for pouring your life into our church and our students, now don’t let the door hit you on the butt on the way out. yes, i am hurt. yes, i know i need to say something to them and i fully plan on doing that. i just do not know when.

i talked with several people after the service who were shocked that they said nothing and didn’t even bother praying over us. but i know no one will say anything, because they don’t want to rock the boat by saying the right thing. but now i am moved on, this chapter in my life is over and i just hope that being away from here will help heal these wounds and help me to move past it. part of the hurt i have been feeling is, i think, from being here and not being able to move on. long goodbyes suck and this was a perfect example of that.

so needless to say that last goodbye from my church went like this….

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Kim, father to Hannah & Caleb, and the connections pastor at The River Church. The thoughts expressed here are my own and not The River Church's.

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