I’ve always appreciated that children I work with tell me how they feel without beating around the bush. If I plan something and they don’t think its fun, they’ll tell me, “Pastor Jonathan, this Stinks!” It’s honesty like that that makes my job so much fun.
Well, this Sunday I finally told all the kids at the church that my family and I would be leaving Dallas, and therefore they would not being seeing me ever again after next Sunday. I was more nervous about telling the kids I was leaving, than telling anyone else. I was mostly afraid of what they would say to me about it. Here were some of the reactions:
- “I hope you’re cursed for this!”
- “I don’t want to come to this church if you’re not here!”
- “Why? Why would you do this to us?”
Mostly the group of 100 kids sat with their mouths open, not knowing what to say. I really do feel for them, and I understand that things like this are hard for kids to understand. I told them that I’ve taught them to listen to God and be quick to do what he says; and that it was my turn to listen to what God was telling me to do. Most of them understood, and just wanted hugs. I even had a kid return with a camera to get a picture taken with me. It’s funny how it’s not till you leave a place that you’re told how important you are to so many people. Not that it would have influenced my decision, but it would have been nice to know months and years ago. I’ve heard some of the nicest things ever said about me from parents and others in the church this week. Don’t worry in the spirit of humility I will not post those comments.
Of course knowing kids as well as I do, they will all forget who I am after about 2 weeks and their lives will move on.