When the time comes to leave one ministry for another you want to do it well. I am currently in the middle of my second transition this is what I’m learning.
Communication is Key
You may notice how similar this video is to one I posted earlier. The first was just for my current church community while this one is for broader consumption. It would have been easier to just do one video but your current community needs to know exactly what is going on and how things will happen moving forward.
Before you go to your boss be confident in explaining why you are moving on in the clearest way possible. Then mutually decide how to clearly communicate only the most important pieces to the larger community.
I was ambiguous in my first transition because I didn’t have a position I was leaving for so some thought I was leaving ministry for good.
It Isn’t About You
As soon as you announce people will start to move from thinking about you to thinking about them. They care much more about the interim and when you will be replaced than they do about all the details of your move. This is normal so don’t be surprised when it happens.
When a President starts their 2nd term they are “lame ducks”. The national consciousness is less and less concerned with who is in the office than they are as to who could be filling it next. Expect other staff, leaders, and volunteers to disengage.
If you are leaving on good terms keep that lame duck period as short as possible. Hang around too long and you prevent people from moving on in a healthy way and create a negative environment for the next pastor. Don’t rip the band-aid off, but don’t take it off hair by hair either.
Be clear in majors.
Be prepared for some people to need more or less explanation.
Don’t stay too long.
I think I am in an ideal situation as I leave my current church with a lot of support and encouragement, but the bottom line is no matter how healthy things are these transitions are always a bit tricky.