Twenty people assembled on the faded tile floor of an aging school gym. We were a wobbly church plant, launching a congregation we hoped would blossom in our budding suburb of Bloomingdale, Illinois. This facility was our only rental option in a new community short on assembly spaces. I wondered to myself (never to our flock of course) if our group would grow and ever worship in a more appealing place. Not having to drag in our equipment every weekend, or wonder if the janitor had remembered to turn the heat up this week would be nice too.

One day in those early months of our church plant, I attended a pastors' conference. An older pastor made a passionate pitch for pastors to make a long-term commitment to the congregations they serve. "Be the faithful shepherd to the church you serve right now" he said. "Make it a goal to stay at your first church for at least 10 years."

Ten years seemed like a really long time then, especially since I was only 25. As I sat there, I wondered, If I do stay, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, join now for free and get complete access.