I had a great visit from my friend Jason today. It was cool on various levels. For those who don't know him, Jason used to be one of my youth group guys back in the day and now he's at Ohio Northern studiously studying toward some sort of ministry vocation. I'm proud to have been one of his mentors along the way.
Anyway, he showed up for service and stuck around for lunch (what college student doesn't like a home-cooked meal?) and we got to have a good talk about ministry, transition, and the differences of being an Associate Pastor and a Senior Pastor (I said that I like being able to empower people to do their jobs and to make sure that they know that I've got their backs whereas when I was an Associate that wasn't the case for me. Also I didn't have much authority then and had to earn respect while here I feel like I have been granted authority with the title -- though I certainly don't want to squander it!). We talked about his path in ministry, about classes, and other stuff. It was great to see him.
A really cool thing about it was the evolution of our relationship. When we first met, he was a student and I was his pastor. He graduated, but I was still his pastor. Now the relationship is becoming one where we're friends and colleagues. It's neat for that to happen. We talked a little about that and about how some transitions are easy and others are extremely difficult and about how to deal with those most helpfully.
The moral of this story is: the purple wombat sails at dawn.