If you have not read the blog recently, you may not be aware that I recently took a new position in Jacksonville, FL. You can read all about it by going here. As I made the decision, I went back and forth, because I would be leaving a place and people who I love! Now, if you are leaving a ministry or getting ready to leave a ministry under bad terms, still read this article, but know that this does not pertain to you. This is pertaining to those who are leaving a ministry when things are going well. For me, leaving was by far the most difficult decision that I have had to make in ministry. It is tough. In some ways, it is a lose-lose situation. I was told that there was no good way to leave. It is going to be rough regardless. I agree to a certain extent, but I believe there are good ways to leave as well. I want to share a few with you today…
- Leave Quietly– Look, you will have things about your church that you disagree with. You will have certain things that you would do differently. We get that, but if you want to leave well keep them to yourself. It is somewhat easy to as you are leaving to throw a few of these things in your conversation, and I would NOT recommend this at all. Leave quietly, and do not share what you disliked about the church to anyone that is connected to your congregation. Look, this is the best way of handling things. I have never heard of someone wishing they had of told more of what they disagreed with after leaving, but I have heard many say that they told too much.
- Leave rightly– The reason you should be leaving is because God has led you somewhere. Make this the focal point. Jesus and the furtherance of the Gospel should be the reason you are moving on. Make Jesus and what He wants to do in you and through you the center of the conversation.
- Get together with people before you leave– Look, before I left, I went to lunch, dinner, golf, etc with some of the teens and families that said they wanted to hang before I left. You will get that “let’s get together before you leave” comment a lot. Make it happen, and you be the instigator of the hang out. It means a lot to people. I know you are busy moving, but remember the lasting impact of this. Do not go into isolation mode.
- Shower the people with appreciation and love– This is a no brainer, but the phrases “Thank you” and “I love you” better be regulars out of your mouth as you leave.
- Leave your future home and time open– Since I have moved, I have been blessed to get together with two different families who were passing through my new town. I made it a point to get together with them, and I hope to have this mindset years later. You have to remember the impact you have made in their life, and because you are leaving, it does not always stop there. Keep the relationship going the best you can.
Bottom line- LEAVE WELL!