Where Were You?

When Charles resigned as pastor of a fast-growing church, I attended his farewell reception. The members of his church extolled his virtues and handled their grief with tears and humor.

Since I knew Charles (we served in the same community) I was surprised at the most commonly mentioned virtue—accessibility.

I knew Charles was a runner who did five miles four days a week, a golfer, a fisherman, and a sports fan who rarely missed an athletic event at the university. I spent twice as much time with my members as he did, and in fact, some of his members had called me in crisis because Charles was out of town. But now they acted as if they were losing their best friend.

You would have thought Andy was moving from Mayberry.

Three years later I sat with a pastor who, if he did not find another position in the next three months, would be terminated. Among the complaints was that he was not accessible to his congregation. His enemies said he was never there when they needed him and painted ...

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