Each year about this time, most spouses have either already asked or are still asking this question: Are we moving this year? In our conference, people are beginning to announce where they will be, so most everyone already knows. My spouse and I are staying at our church, which, while not a surprise, is still a relief.
There are many out-dated things about our UM system, but this has got to be one of them. Holding out the possibility of moving every year gets old and wears on the family. Because packing up a family and moving with all it involves, is an arduous undertaking. While, at least our conference, has said that the Cabinet does not want to move pastors "just because" and leave them for at least six years as a norm, about a third of our pastors still move each year. Go figure! Are there really that many toxic churches (probably? Maybe it's because the Cabinet doesn't do their job well in the first place--finding pastors and churches that match for maximum effectiveness.
Every year in the Spring, I usually clean closets and organize the house "just in case." While there is an upside to this, I do it mostly out of anxiety. Having moved a number of times, I want the transition to be as smooth as possible. Still it's a good chance to clean out clutter.
As you can probably tell, I'm not a big fan of pulling up stakes and moving. But I've also seen the toll that pastoring a toxic church has had on my spouse and children. I never would have chosen some of the places we've lived, but God is faithful.
Please join me as we pray for families moving this year.