I know at least three people who are currently praying about opportunities that would require them to move to other states. All of these people are part of the church. They are all friends of our family, and they are all important members of the body of Christ.
One is praying about moving to San Francisco for further education. He and his family believe this is God’s will for them, and they are making arrangements to move this summer. We have been praying for them as a church for several months now.
Another is praying about moving to the northeast. They are planning to work with family members in an area where there are very few Christians. They believe this is God’s will, and they are waiting for their house to sell before they make a move. This decision has moved fairly quickly, but we are praying for them as a church.
The third friend has been contacted by a college in another state. The college has asked him to consider teaching for them full time. They are praying for this, and they have asked the church to pray as well. If they decide to accept a position on the college, they would move in just over a year.
This third example is my close friend, Mael (from “The Adventures of Mael & Cindy“). Mael asked the church to pray for him and Cindy as they try to discern God’s will in this (please, take the time to read his letter in the post “Deciding in Community“). I am very proud of Mael and Cindy for telling the church about this and for asking us for prayer. It was not an easy decision for them, and telling the church was a decision that many would counsel against. You see, Mael is one of our elders/pastors.
In many Christian communities, pastors keep this kind of thing secret from other people. Pastors generally do not tell the church that God may be moving them to another city or state. We expect people to ask the church to pray for God’s will in making decisions, but when it comes to pastors, things are different. I blogged about this a year ago in a post called “Are Pastors Part of the body?”
So, consider this: if a pastor thinks that God may be calling him to move to another state, what should the pastor do? Should he keep it to himself? Should he share it only with people who are outside the church? Should he share it only with a few people in the church? Or, should he share it with everyone in the church? What are the pros and cons of a pastor sharing this and asking the church to pray for him and his family?
Think about your answer. Does your answer show that you would treat the pastor the same or different from other members of the body of Christ? Why?