Sunday, February 04, 2007

Interim Pastoring

The folks of the Immanuel Baptist Church of Nashville have called me to serve as their Interim Pastor. I begin with this morning's worship celebration.

God is good to connect me with this community of faith. Immanuel has served as a beacon of creative, progressive ministry in the city of Nashville for over a century. I will take the mantle of leadership during this season of transition from David George, who has served this congregation with intelligence and distinction for thirty years. A search team is already actively at work to find the pastor God has prepared for this fellowship, and I have every confidence this happy discovery will be made expeditiously.

(In the God's Small World category, David was ordained as a young minister by none other than the Trinity Baptist Church of San Antonio! It is instructive for us to remember that the ancient celebration of the "communion of the saints" means that all God's people of all ages and in all places are wonderfully and intimately connected, far closer than the vaunted six degrees sociologists say separate the human family on the planet at large...)

We are learning that the ministry of the interim pastor, particularly in succession of a long-tenured minister, is strategic for the health of our churches. Pastoral bonds with a congregation are deep and abiding. There are complex dynamics of grief that must be processed in pastoral leadership transitions-- even when those transitions are timely and appropriate. Mature congregations are seeing the need more and more for carefully planned and executed interim seasons between outgoing and incoming senior ministers, during which these myriad emotions and dynamics can be confronted, examined, and understood.

Even as Immanuel has called me, Trinity is wisely embracing this "best practice" in the call of my friend Randall O'Brien, Provost at Baylor University, as Interim Pastor following my tenure there. Reports of Randall's ministry are already universally positive, and Jana and I offer him and Kay our ongoing prayers and support as they lead that special group of Christians who convene at 319 E. Mulberry in the Alamo City each Sabbath!

As I look out the window in writing this, there is a blanket of snow covering the ground here in Nashville. This lovely Belle Meade neighborhood where Immanuel is located has been transformed into something storybook beautiful.

Reminds me of the imaginative promise of Scripture: "All things are becoming new."

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

319 e mulberry

CFJ said...

Of course, Mulberry. I've made the correction and thank you for pointing it out.

Pat said...

Charlie,

God didn't waste much time re-assigning one of His most stalwart instruments. I rejoice in anticipation of the joy that He is going to render through your service to His kingdom at Immanuel. They are truly blessed. Praise God!

Pat

Dr Randi Fass said...

What a wonderful opportunity! Godspeed as you and Jana begin this next adventure.

Rom 10:15 - How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.

May you both prosper in the bringing of that great Good News!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful journey you are taking. The folks of Immanuel are truly blessed to have you in their home spreading your light and wisdom. Enjoy your time as their interim pastor and drink in what they have for you. You never know what is in store for you on this special leg of your journey. Do good things!

Anonymous said...

Charlie,
What a blessing YOU are! How lucky Immannuel is to have you as their interim pastor...what sweet words you spoke about Randall...it truly shows that you are a man of Godly character...as much as we are enjoying Randall...we still miss you here...still feels like there is a big hole in our church without you and Jana. Know that I pray for you each Thursday (so many to pray for, so Thurday has been your day the last 5 or 6 years). Take care and love to Jana.
Sincerely,
Jan Pullin

Anonymous said...

Charlie,
What a blessing YOU are! How lucky Immannuel is to have you as their interim pastor...what sweet words you spoke about Randall...it truly shows that you are a man of Godly character...as much as we are enjoying Randall...we still miss you here...still feels like there is a big hole in our church without you and Jana. Know that I pray for you each Thursday (so many to pray for, so Thurday has been your day the last 5 or 6 years). Take care and love to Jana.
Sincerely,
Jan Pullin

Jack said...

Hope all is well my friend. We were able to enjoy the Super Bowl with you last year and hope to again one day in the near future. I'm glad all is going so well for you now. You deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Charlie,

May God be with you in this new place. May God with all of the churches you have served. You are missed in all of them and you have impacted them all (of course God helped).

lmk4jc said...

Charlie! congrats.i pray your words are as anoited during your interim time at Immanuel as they were with us at Trinity.Thanks for the encouragement during that last phone call. linda

Marsha said...

The people at Immanuel Baptist Church are VERY lucky. They're in for a real treat. Congratulations!

Marsha said...

The people at Immanuel Baptist Church are VERY lucky. They're in for a real treat. Congratulations!

Grace said...

Good news, Charlie! Lucky them.

Anonymous said...

Charlie,
You have many friends at FBC in Pontotoc Mississippi who are proud of you and wish you the very best.

Anonymous said...

You are a much loved pastor and friend ~ not surprising!

Lucia said...

Hi Charlie, Greatly missed hearing you and thanks to the world wide web found you. I joined another church only to find there were "problemas" and the pastor has resigned. Yara is a teacher and we're hosting another German student. Hi to Jana. Thank you for being my pastor during an extremely difficult time in my life. Most sincerely, Lucia

Neva said...

Hi Charlie....Immanuel is so lucky to have you! WE CONTINUE TO MISS YOU GREATLY here in San Antonio!
I recently moved to Oakhills Church. It has taken me a while to make this decision - but I know it is the best thing for me. I hope to explain this more! My email is the same and hope to hear from you when you a have some time. Your words of wisdom and friendship always bless me and comfort me.
I was sorry to miss you recently in San Antonio....I hope to see you next time!
BIG HUG and BLESSINGS!
Neva

Anonymous said...

Charlie, please write more for us...I look forward to reading your thoughts!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Charlie please do write more. I check over here every few days to see if you have written anything and am disappointed to find you haven't.

name said...

Wonderful blog.