People come and people go. Quest has grown fairly significantly the past couple years and and many people have also moved on the past couple years – for various reasons. But for whatever reason, it’s much easier to focus on the folks that move on rather than to enjoy the folks that choose to stay. Why is that?
Over the years, I’ve learned to not take people’s departures too personally but it still sucks and at times, hurts…because ultimately, they’re people I care for. Here are couple [edited] emails from folks in the recent years.
Hi Eugene: I just wanted to finally get this out and let you know that I have decided to leave Quest permanently. To be honest I have been struggling with Quest for a long time and I just needed to do something about it…I do still feel close to the core Quest family but have lost touch with this new community of attenders, so much so that I no longer have the desire to attend. I have been struggling with the way Quest has grown and felt very impersonal on Sundays and to be totally honest I don’t really share in the vision of Quest any longer.
So, yes, being a pastor can get discouraging because while these decisions aren’t meant to be personal, how can one not take it to heart to a certain level? This is why it’s so encouraging to occasionally hear the voice from the other spectrum:
I also wanted to express to you how great it has been to have Quest as my home church over the last two years.
It has meant so much to me to be able to take part in a community like Quest, that is so dedicated to not only strengthening and challenging the faith of the people who attend, but also to reaching out into the community and serving the physical and spiritual needs that are so prevelant. This has been an important period of time in my life and your ministry at Quest has had a huge impact on my view of what it means to be a Christian in today’s society. I will never forget the time that I have been able to be involved with Quest and the influence that it has had on my own journey with Christ.
People come and people go. There are times I wished that it had no effect on me at all but I’m realizing that the minute that happens, I will truly have lost the heart of being a pastor and shepherd. It sucks and hurts but am realizing that is much better than not caring at all. Apathy is the death to the soul.
And through all this, just trying to be faithful…and feeling like I’m failing. Thank God for grace.