What's the old song? You don't know what you've got til it's gone. Hmmm...tempted to sing...They paved paradise, put up a parking lot!
Now that I'm no longer a pastor of a local church, going on two years now, I am learning a few things.
1. I miss the ongoing relationships with people, especially children.
2. I miss the rhythm of preaching.
3. It is much more difficult to get into the liturgical experiences of Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Pentecost because I am not present in one faith community.
4. Playing my guitar recently for the first time in two years at Soldotna UMC I realized that I can worship when I lead worship. And this is a good thing.
There are many more aspects that make this life of superintending very different than pastoring a church. But the simple truth I want to point out is this. Cherish your church! Savor the little things that come with being a part of a faith community. You know what they are. The giggle of a 3 year old sitting next to the pastor. The magnificent way your pianist and choir draws you in to music and lifts your soul to heaven. The sorrow shared from a long time member who recently lost a loved one. The teen who drove you crazy at the retreat but gave you a big hug and said thanks at the end. The banter between the pastor and the people in worship that makes you laugh.
Faith communities come in all shapes and sizes. They are full of needy, loving, difficult, forgiving people. They are God's people. And they are your people. Enjoy this amazing gift of your faith community.