Rectors, Can You Land These Planes?


I live on the flight path for DFW. The planes are a few miles above my home as they make their final approach and landing. Sometimes, at dusk, on a cool fall evening, when the mist is gone and the fading sunset is just right, I can see up to seven planes at once.

The sun has set for me, but a few thousand feet above, the jets are lit like ornaments on a bluish backdrop. These planes are coming in for a landing. They are “on approach.” Each one is safely spaced about 3 miles from the other. They seem to hang there in the eastern sky.


When one safely lands at the airport, it taxis off the runway and finds a gate and comes to a stop. All the passengers safely exit and go home. “Mmmbye-bye,” say the passengers to the flight attendants as they exit the plane. Everyone goes home.

But up in the sky, another plane is coming in. Another one is on approach.

Sunday is Coming

If you are the Rector of a church, you have a vague familiarity with this scenario of the Eastern sky and the relentless approach of planes one by one. Sunday services are coming one by one, stacked up, seven days apart—week by week, for as far out as you can see or imagine.

As the Rector of a congregation, you are both the captain landing the plane and the air traffic controller keeping your eye on the next one. Everyone leaves the church saying “mmmbye-bye”…. or something. And as you drive home thinking about the service you just “landed,” you know there is another one coming up in seven days.

Can you relate to this? This is the role the Rector has. The Rector is uniquely charged with the responsibility to land the aircraft (Sunday worship) week after week, month after month. Year by year. Safely! So that no one gets hurt.

There is great joy in leading worship week by week; there is great joy and satisfaction in the calling to preach week by week. But one of the things that a Rector is never allowed to do is to wait too long before making the preparations for the very next Sunday when, once again, the plane lands.

The Summit is Coming (December 2-5; Sandestin, FL)

The Rector’s Summit for Vision and Planning (RSVP) is your chance to meet, greet, and grow with other Rectors around the ACNA. This summit is hosted by LeaderWorks and the American Anglican Council. Only Rectors are invited to attend.

This year, the gathering topic for input and discussion is “The Preaching Life of the Rector.”

If you are the Rector of a church, you probably need to be there. You probably need to see how other Rectors do their work and learn from them. You have lots to share too. Come and be part of it.

Go to the Rectors’ Summit website and register today.

  • When? December 2-5.
  • Where? The BEACH in Sandestin, Florida.

We have 30 great Rectors coming, and we have space for only 8 more.

The room rates are very, VERY reasonable. The fellowship is fantastic. And the worship will be moving and inspiring.

We will have time on the beach, time to share, and time to pray.

Phil Ashey and I will be your hosts. And you will be over-blessed by the teaching ministry of Kevin Miller and Ethan Magness, both of whom are Rectors and practitioners.

If you want to go directly to the registration page, please go here.

Join us on the beach!

Published on

November 4, 2019


David Roseberry

David Roseberry leads the nonprofit ministry, LeaderWorks. He was the founding rector of Christ Church, Plano, Texas, and is the author of many books. He lives in Plano with his wife, Fran.

View more from David Roseberry


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