“What can I do for you now?”
We expect to hear these words from a waitress or a customer service rep. They are a polite offer of service to those who deserve it or have paid for it. We don’t expect to hear them uttered by someone relinquishing their job to another, but that’s exactly what happened when Josh McCown of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hurt his thumb and handed over his starting quarterback job to Mike Glennon.
McCown, a 35-year-old NFL veteran, was named the Bucs’ starter prior to the regular season over Glennon, who is in his second season as a pro. But during Tampa Bay’s game at Atlanta on Sept. 18, a 56-14 loss, McCown injured his hand and lost his job to Glennon, at least temporarily but possibly for the rest of the season. This happens all the time in the NFL. What doesn’t happen as often, at least not publicly, is an immediate and clear show of support by the displaced player.
Most people, in any position, do not think of their successor. Most of us have a hard time even thinking of the larger organization we are part of, whether it be professional or ministerial. But McCown showed a different mindset.
In his new book, Next: Pastoral Succession That Works, William Vanderbloemen points out that all pastors are interim pastors—someone preceded them and someone will succeed them—and they should serve and plan as such. The same applies to all of us in whatever we do, but we struggle to think beyond our present reality and what we see as good for ourselves.
. . .