House Church Talk - retirement means relocation

Glenn Frank glennfrank at
Tue Aug 3 10:44:49 EDT 2004

I had forgotten about that practice!

Sadly, it might be because it was many many years ago that I saw a 'pastor'
step down for simply retirement (rather than moving somewhere else or
leaving for bad reasons). I think the last time I witnessed that was over 20
or 25 years ago.

I remember that the founding pastor at a Baptist church where I grew up had
retired, he stayed in the congregation when the new pastor came... (who was
not that young himself). 10 or so years later (the founding pastor had since
passed away), when this 'new' pastor retired, I remember him personally
choosing not to stay in the congregation because he remembered feeling
pressured by the founding pastor being in the 'audience'. So he chose to
leave the congregation after retirement so as not to pressure the new pastor
replacing him... And so that the people were not divided between two

At the time this sounded like it made sense and seemed like wisdom to me.

But now that I think back on it... It shows the silliness of the system.
First: everyone was so tunnel-focused on this one leader... And secondly:
the relationship tie of fellowship was obviously not stronger than the
structural tie of clergy-laity and leadership loyalties!

Like you said...

Just another consequence of the system.

Glenn F.

On 8/3/04 8:09 AM, "David Anderson" <david at> wrote:
>   Hi to all readers, near and far,
> I ran into an elderly fellow, a former IC minister, the other day at the
> post office. I recalled his daughter who was a classmate of mine in high
> school and a notorious hell-raiser, being a typical preacher's kid.
> He had retired from a long pastorate and I just discovered from church
> members there that the pastors traditionally left the church when they
> were replaced so as not to cause confusion or jealousy. The thought of
> which made me sad.
> "Just another consequence of a system gone amuck," I mused.

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