As promised, this post is a follow up on yesterday’s post. I enjoyed a lovely lunch yesterday with about 35 of our retired clergy people and their spouses during which I asked them to answer this question:
What Would You Like to Say to Active Pastors? (And here is what they shared.)
- Hang in there. Things are very different now from when I was serving the church and you are going to have to work harder to figure it out.
- Do something risk-taking or cutting edge. (This pastor shared that he served as pastor of the first interracial congregation in Texas. He raised his family in a tough context, but it was worth it.)
- Ask yourself if anything about your current ministry scares you. If not, it’s time to move on.
- Remember the saying about preaching with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other? Talk in your sermons about how much trouble we are in, both in terms of global and interpersonal conflicts. Ask your congregation and yourself, “Is our Jesus big enough to handle these things?” If you don’t think so, read your Bible more closely.
- Don’t preach cookie cutter wedding and funeral homilies. Make it personal. These are great opportunities to build community
- Take advantage of connecting with retired pastors. We need the intellectual stimulation and maybe you could pick our brains about something.
If you are retired from professional ministry, what would you add?
If you are actively serving a church, what else would you like to hear from retired clergy?