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Leadership, Volunteers

Leading Well Through Transition

Transitions aren’t easy, even for people who like change. A lot of you are in a season of change and transition, whether it’s a work, in ministry, or in your personal life. As we navigate change, we still have to lead well wherever we are, which can be really difficult.

I’ve led through transition in a lot of my roles as an adult, and they all looked different. When a student pastor would leave, I often was handed the more administrative side of their role until we had someone new. I’ll never forget when I had to meet with the budget team, and it left me in tears because I had no idea what I was doing. Let’s just be honest… I was 22, had never been good at balancing my checkbook (does anyone even do that anymore??), and was handed a large budget to make sense of and be responsible for. Yikes! It felt incredibly overwhelming, and this particular time was in a season where my personal life was also full of transition. I had to lean into the Lord in a way that I hadn’t ever experienced before because I needed him in such a real way.

I’ve talked to some ministry leaders over the last few weeks who are really worn out because transition is hard. If that’s you, know that I’m praying for you specifically today.

Here are a few ways to lead well as you’re walking through transition:

  1. Be patient. This is one of the hardest things about transition, but it’s really crucial to put it into practice.

  2. Ask for grace. If you’re leading where there’s a leadership gap, ask others for grace on a regular basis. You’re probably doing the work of more than one person, and

  3. Keep things moving forward. Now isn’t the time to change everything up, but to be a steadying force where you can.

  4. Pray for the next season. Be bold in asking God to meet needs where you are, but also be bold in asking him for direction in the next season of ministry and life. It’s often hard to pray ahead when you feel stuck, but don’t miss the opportunity to ask God for what’s to come.

  5. Surround yourself well. Don’t lead alone, especially in transition. It’s easy to try and lead alone and take everything on yourself, but you’ll burn out quickly. Make sure that you have a good support team around you who can help stand in the gap and help.

One of the hard parts of transition that people don’t talk about much is the feeling of being left behind. This was always one of the hardest parts for me because it felt like everyone was moving forward except for me. The Lord taught me a lot about his character in these seasons, and taught me to wait well. He wasn’t done with me, and had different plans in store for me than he did for some of my friends in ministry, but I just couldn’t see it clearly at the time.

“It is the ascribing to Him the glory of being All; it is the experiencing that He is All to us. May God teach us the blessedness of waiting on Him.” Andrew Murray, Waiting on God

If you’re leading through transition, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. He is faithful and hasn’t forgotten you.