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3 Things to Do When You’re Leaving

 —  September 29, 2008 — 4 Comments

Chances are, you are not going to be in the church you’re currently serving at for the rest of your life. I love so many youth workers that serve each day like they will, but sometimes God moves you on. When He does, here’s 3 things that I hope describe you on your way out:

Work hard to stay mentally engaged
It’s like you are a high school senior in February – graduation is the only thing that matters – so good luck paying attention in class. One of the most challenging aspects of moving on is staying engaged. But while it is difficult, it is the right thing to do. Be on time to work, focus on the little things that demonstrate you’re still caring and thinking about the ministry, fight off the “lame duck” pressure, and finish strong.

Work hard to the last day
You can ditch meetings that are soley future-oriented, but if there’s something that involves you or would beneift from your involvement, be there! The tempation is to detach yourself from the ministry mentally (see above) and physically is great. So get to work – even stay late if you need to! You show the depth of your character when you show up.

Work hard on the handoff
The transition to the next youth worker at your church is typically the biggest fumble in most youth ministry leadership transitions. And while sometimes this just isn’t possible – it would be a shame to let all of the hard work and progress over the last few years stall out or even move backwards. If there’s no candidate for the position and no volunteer showing promise, consider making a handbook of timely information that needs to be handed off.

Hopefully you’ll never have to leave – but if you do, finish strong!


Josh Griffin


4 responses to 3 Things to Do When You’re Leaving

  1. Easier said than done, usually. Especially if there is tension between you and the leadership. But, I agree that we should all strive to finish well.

  2. I strongly agree Josh. Those are things i tried to do when I left and came to my new position. I would say there should be a 4th one – train your adult leaders well. Even years before you know you’re moving on – get intentional about training them. That way when or if you do go the ministry wasn’t dependent on you but on God and the staff there are more than capable or running the ministry without you.

  3. josh, those are three great ideas. i’m in the final weeks at my job (not youth, but still an associate pastor role), and it’s a killer to stay focused. but the value of ending well exceeds the value of starting well. great words of wisdom!

  4. Sadly, I may be needing this advice in the next few months. Things are not going well here and I may be facing the inevitable. In some ways I already feel like a dead man walking. But God is in control and He may change things, so we’ll see what happens.

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