The long-term investment often yields the biggest returns.

Randy, a fellow minister and friend, caught my eye and motioned toward a private corner. I could see a heavy question coming.

"How do you know when it is time to move?" he almost begged.

His searching eyes suggested the question was more painfully complex than its simple phrasing. Randy is not alone. Most ministers find themselves in his quandary periodically, if not persistently.

For fifteen years I have served one church, but I have frequently faced the question of moving. I am not suggesting ministers should never move or that I never will. A move is sometimes imperative. So far, however, I have chosen to stay because of some guidelines hammered out along the way. These principles at least brush against the question Randy and you and I often ask: Is it time to move?

No doubt you sense my bias. I am unabashedly in favor of long tenures in ministry. Ministry, like marriage, finds its fulfillment in faithfulness. Marriage vows are intended to last until death brings separation; a ministerial ...

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