As a United Methodist pastor, I’ve learned a lot about God’s sovereignty even through the polity and practices of our church. As pastors, we move—officially it’s called “itineracy,” but basically it means that we are only at each church as long as God and the Bishop see fit. Then we are appointed to another place. I’ve been fortunate to not have to move as often as some, but it’s hard every time to leave behind good friends and folks you have spent the last many years loving and pouring your ministry into. That happened to us again this year.
In January I got a call that I was going to be moving in July. Talk about a long goodbye! It was a harder farewell than we’ve ever had to go through, and there were still things that we (my family and I) had hoped to accomplish at the previous church. But in obedience to the call we answered, we left the church in the hands of another pastor. He will continue the ministry we began, just as I will continue the ministry someone else began.
I have to have confidence and faith in the sovereignty of God who is orchestrating all of this or I couldn’t do what I do. I mean, as with most folks who lead organizations, I have control issues. I want to make sure everything turns out the way I think it ought to. And yet, I had to say “goodbye” and leave the outcome in God’s hands, just as the pastor who was serving here had to do. God is in control. God sees it all. God can take better care of things that I can ever dream of doing. The question for me is whether I can trust Him, rest in His arms, and let Him lead, guide and direct.
The answer? I’m working on it!
~ Dennis Ticen
Dennis is a pastor and teacher at heart, who seeks to help others know Jesus and the Scriptures better. He and Cathy have been married since 1989, and they have two children, Christopher and Rachel. He has been privileged to travel with both children to various places in the world, most recently traveling in the footsteps of Paul to Turkey, Greece and Italy. He attended Ball State University (B.S., 1989) and Asbury Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1993). He is an ordained elder in the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church and has served three churches across northern Indiana. Currently, he serves Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church in Terre Haute, Indiana. Among his interests are Mac computers (actually, anything Apple), science fiction and finding the best deals he can on most anything! You can read his writings on: http://dlticen.wix.com/home as well as Pastor’s Ponderings.