Skip to content

Those Traveling Preachers

June 8, 2022

Greg Coates, friend and colleague, wrote this recently and has graciously given me permission to share it with you here —

Random thoughts on the traveling ministry and friendship…

I had a chance meeting with a single mother in the park in Glasford several months ago that hasn’t left my mind. As her kids played, we chatted politely but I could tell she needed a listening ear so I did my best to give her my fullest attention. She finally asked a bit about me and I pointed across the railroad tracks to say that I’m the preacher who preaches under that steeple over there. She was a bit surprised (as people usually are when they find out I’m a pastor), but I could see that she neither liked me more nor liked me less due to my religious affiliation, and I’ll take that these days!

But then she squinted and asked, “Are you one of those traveling preachers?” I asked her to clarify. “I mean, are you gonna up and move in a few years?” I hung my head and said “yes, most likely” and I could tell that that was the end of our relationship. She wasn’t going to share her deepest self and entrust her spiritual well-being to someone who is only temporary. I can’t say I blame her. Can anyone?

The itineracy may have had its purpose back in the day, and I understand it’s history very well, but I’m increasingly skeptical of this historic hallmark of Methodism and how it is failing to properly serve our liquid, highly mobile society. This isn’t even to mention anything of the toll it takes on pastor’s families and pastor’s kids to be constantly uprooting…

Anyone have any thoughts on ministry and itineracy?

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: