Change is definitely a big part of life. As often as it happens it would seem that we would get used to it. But not all changes are equal. I’ve been preaching the gospel in a local church setting for 56 years now. For the last 27 of those years it has been with the church at Central in Little Rock. In all I’ve preached in the Little Rock area for 43 years. For a while now it seemed that every week I would have someone that I ran into that I hadn’t seen in a while that would ask, “Are you retired yet?” I must admit that the very question seemed offensive to me. I wondered why in the world anyone would think I would retire from a job I dearly loved and felt called by God to carry out. Even though my plans still aren’t anywhere close to retirement, the time is drawing very close when my work as the preacher at Central will end. At the end of March, if all goes as planned, I will preach my last sermon at Central as their preacher. The plan is for me to continue as part of the staff at Central doing many of the same things I’ve done through the years but not the preaching. When I was first informed that this was to be the plan of action, I began praying and asking God to show me the way forward. I’ve asked many times for an open door that would show me the way God would have me to go in the days ahead.
God has helped me in a lot of ways during this whole thing by sending good friends who have offered some excellent advise. Most of them said something to the effect that I needed to relax and wait to see what God would open for us as the preaching work at Central came to an end. A few have reminded me that I do have a few years on me and that I needed to accept things as they are and make the best of it. My longing is that I would be able to use the remaining years of my life on earth to build up the kingdom of God in any way possible.
Through the years, long before Covid and just the changes in the world as a whole, I preached in hundreds of revival type meetings and did workshops on things like “Grief Recovery”, “Leadership training” and “Church growth.” I don’t know if things of that nature might be available again when Covid actually comes to an end. I’ve thought a lot about the possibility of doing Interim Ministry for congregations that are between preachers and helping them to prepare for the days to come. But, with any of those things so much depends on what happens in the world and what is happening in the church.
I’ve never been one to open up much about my feelings or concerns in life. But I felt the need today to share with you where I am at the present. If you would, I would appreciate your prayers during these coming days. If you have thoughts that you think might be helpful please email me at “Leon@arcentralchurch.org.”