Just back from Annual Conference. Even our spouse lunch was well attended. As several of us talked after the lunch, one spouse reflected how great her church was. The church had been supportive during some difficult times for, both, the church and the pastor. As my friend gushed, a couple of us exchanged glances. All three of us had served that same church in years past, but we had different experiences. For my family, that church was literally hell on earth--back stabbing, hostility, and hatred were rampant. All I could think was that some of those folks were receiving their eternal rewards elsewhere.
Same church but different times, circumstances, and pastors. While I like to think that our spouses helped pave the way for the current health of this church, it may also be that this pastor is a better fit.
No pastor fits all churches. No DSs fit all districts. And no bishop fits all conferences. We all have different gifts and some contexts call for things we may not have.
Still, in the case of this church, my friend is lucky. My hope is that the loving folks in that church finally stepped up.