When I was a Pastoral Ministry Major at Liberty University, I remember having a professor talk about leaving one field of ministry and going to another. His statement was, “when you leave a church, leave it.” He said to cut ties and move on to the next place.
I have always been troubled by this philosophy. First, it is not what we see in the New Testament. Paul didn’t leave a place and never return, or think about them, etc. Second, ministry is life. Ministry is relationships. Twice in my life the Lord has led our family to a new area of vocational ministry. Neither time did we “cut every tie.” We have avoided being involved in the search for leadership, but we have not forgotten about the people. Ministry is people. I have never viewed being a Pastor as a “job.”
Today we got to visit with some members of our former church. We spent some time with them. We had dinner with some of them. It was a great day. In fact, our kids spent the night with their adopted grandparents last night. Wherever you serve the Lord in ministry, it is never a job. It is life, relationships, and people!