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Got a chance to share just briefly at the close of the college service last week – our college pastor and his right-hand man are both stepping down and into other leadership positions in and out of the church. My heart was to reassure the students present that everything was going to be OK. I just shared a few words but heard enough comments about it I wanted to post a few of them here as well in case they were helpful to someone else who is helping to navigate transition:

It is OK to leave a church. When God speaks, we listen. When He moves, we follow. In this case it is an incredible example how to leave well. To leave a legacy. So awesome. And with the same clarity we’re excited for God speaking and moving these guys FROM our college ministry, I’m excited about how God has been moving and speaking TO the new leaders our college ministry as well. Come back next week for details on what’s ahead for us leaving.

The night was about celebrating the guys leaving, but it is equally important to reassure the faithful that God is still working and leading new leadership into place in tandem with the exit. I’m not sure what’s ahead for our college ministry, but I’m thankful that God is already leading someone to take it over!

JG

This month I got to contribute another Slant33 article on the topic of leaving a youth ministry. There are a couple of great responses to the question, wise words from Tash McGill and Ian McDonald. Here’s a clip of what I shared there as well:

Leave at the right time. It isn’t always possible, but leaving at a natural break is best. The end of summer is ideal but not always possible. But even more than leaving at the right time in the calendar, pray through leaving at the right time in the church culture as well. Stay too long after you know you’re done, and it’ll be painfully obvious. Leave too soon, and you’ll blindside people.

Make the transition short. I understand the need for a transition time to help prepare students or ensure a peaceful exchange of leadership, but there’s nothing worse than a lame duck who is out but still in. Pray through the timing of your announcement and the timing of your last day. Typically I wouldn’t put these more than a month or two apart at the most.

JG