There are many reasons why it may be time to step down from your role in ministry. This could be at your initiative or it could be due to undesired external circumstances.
In my own journey, there were a few times when basically, it was my choice. I had finished my assignment and it was time to move on. But there was one time when leaving was not my choice, and that was oh so painful.
Nevertheless, once the decision has been made to leave, for your own benefit and for the benefit of the kingdom of God, I urge you to determine in your heart to “finish well”.
Worship ministry is a high calling. Sadly it can also have a dark side.
The faithful man or woman of God should make it his priority to serve the Lord to the best of their ability.
Nothing is forever. There will be a time when you are done. When that moment comes, make it your goal to finish well.
How to finish well.
1. First, decide.
Decide you’re going to finish well, and then do everything within your power to make it so. It really is your choice how you handle it.
If you are leaving for a better opportunity, then be a blessing to those you are leaving. Speak well of the church you are leaving.
If you are suffering a “forced termination”, it is tempting to get bitter and feel as if the call of God on your life has been rejected.
Re-frame that story. That’s what Joseph did, “what was meant for evil God has used for good” Genesis 50:20.
God is for you, not against you. He will work it out for good. Believe what you can not see.
2. Think about your legacy.
Begin with the end in mind. If you have invested in your people, hopefully you will see good fruit.
I have a personal goal to hear these words. “Well done good and faithful servant” Matthew 25:21
Be honorable. Do everything you can to leave the place better than you found it.
3. Be a peace maker.
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9
If there’s a political battle going on, do not feed into it.
If you’ve been dealt an unjust deal, let it go. Let God fight your battles.
You may have a sizable following in the church. Don’t misuse that good will. Don’t torch the church on your way out.
4. Be a blessing.
We are blessed to be a blessing. Try to setup your successors for success.
“Bless those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:28
Take the high road. Point people to Christ and do things the Jesus way.
Do not participate in nor encourage strife, contentiousness or division.
Do your best and trust God for the outcomes in your life and ministry.
5. Finally, tell the truth.
It is a tricky thing to “speak the truth in love”. Sometimes there is a lot of “spin” going on in church world.
You can and should keep confidentialities. Be diplomatic, tactful, discrete, sensitive and selfless.
Not everybody needs to know everything. You can be more disclosing with a handful of those closest to you, and less so with those who are not.
But don’t lie. It will haunt you.
Finally, here are some great resources I suggest you check out.
1. Michael Hyatt: 7 Actions to Take Before You Quit Your Job [Podcast]
2. Rich Kirkpatrick “Navigating Church Politics”
So, how are you doing? I’d love to hear from you on this. Talk to me in the comments or send me an e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
Over to you. Keep it real.
Whether you are “paid” or a volunteer, how do you want to go out?
Coming oh so very soon! My new e-book “Wholehearted Worship”. :