I have previously stated in certain blog posts and in my introductory blog that Andrew is a Methodist minister. I have never gone into any real detail about Andrew’s role as a minister, and what it means for us as a family. Mainly because I have focused on other things, like cute kids, delicious food, and wonderful music. However, the Methodist church plays a huge role in our lively hood, and it effects us on a very personal level. When I first met Andrew, I knew nothing about Methodism. I grew up in a general Baptist church. Even after ten years of marriage there is still some things I don’t completely understand about the Methodist church, but I am married to a walking Methodist encyclopedia so I don’t really feel the need to know EVERY thing! 🙂
A few weeks ago Andrew received a phone call from his district superintendent. This rarely happens and when it does it usually means one or two things. One, you are fixing to be asked to move, two, you are in trouble. It was the first! Andrew has been appointed to another church in the state of Arkansas and we will be moving in the month of June. New appointments always begin July first.
We have moved several times since Andrew has been in ministry here in Arkansas. We are asked the same questions each time by people. Such as, “Why do you have to move?”, “Do you have a choice on whether to move or not?”, “How long will you be here/there this time?”. I can answer the first question of why, at least in a nut shell. When Methodist ministers are ordained, one of the things they vow to is itinerancy. This is the willingness of the minister to go wherever appointed by the bishop. The bishop and his cabinet make appointments based on the performance strengths and weaknesses of a pastor, combined with the need and circumstances of the local churches. We trust that after much prayer, thought and consideration to those involved, the best appointments will be made.
As to whether ministers have a choice to accept a move or not is a little more complicated. Appointments are made yearly, and each year a minister is asked to do a consultation with their district superintendent and fill out paper work stating whether they think they should stay, move, or are open to either. This does not mean that you will necessarily get your wish, but everything is taken into consideration. There are a lot of politics that come into play here. (Yes, the church has politics. For better or worse.) If a minister receives a phone call asking whether or not you would be interested in a certain move, that gives a lot more liberty to the situation. If a minister receives a phone call stating they will be appointed to — church. It’s best to say, “yes sir”!
How long will a minister be appointed to any given church? As I previously stated, appointments are visited annually. There is no definite answer to this question. I only have personal experience to speak of. We have been at our locations for generally two to three years. We are praying that this next appointment will be much longer!
MOVING! YUK! I really dread all the work involved in this, even though I am pretty much a professional at this point. As a mom my goal is to make it as seamless and stress free for our kids as possible. I don’t want them to feel too stressed about all the change. For me it is difficult because I always go through this season of loss and the grief about leaving people I have come to know and my students. It is tiring, always having to start over. I try to keep in mind all the positives, such as the new community of people we will meet, a chance to experience yet another place, and this time specifically we will be closer to our families.
On occasion a church will have a parsonage that we live in, as we are now. However, more often than not, they have housing allowances. The rental market at the new location is basically zilch, so we are looking to buy our first house! While this is exciting on some level, it is also stressful. I have quickly learned that I have expensive taste and should probably be on an episode of Property Brothers! 🙂 I just pray we can find the house that is best for us and pretty quickly.