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SUCCEEDING A PATRIARCH

How to perform when you have a tough act to follow.
Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone. The Israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days, until the time of weeping and mourning was over. Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.

-Deuteronomy 34:7-9

After only a few minutes with the pulpit committee, I realized that if I came as their pastor, I would have a tough act to follow. Dr. Ed, as the former pastor was affectionately known, was not only well-liked but beloved.

In my first get-acquainted session with the committee, one member said, "We would want anyone coming as pastor to know that our last minister was loved by everyone. No one wanted him to leave. We would have kept him forever if we could. But we couldn't, so now we have to go on."

The others nodded.

Those kinds of statements, at first, can make you feel that, no ...

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