For the past two months, I have been coaching several XPs who have been asked to resign their positions. Transition is never easy and usually makes the honor roll for experiencing pain and suffering in our careers. This results from feeling rejected after giving our very best to serve the church. When we feel rejected, we move beyond the professional realm and it gets personal. Imagine what it is like to wake up and get dressed, only to realize that you don’t have a job. One XP shared that it was a strange feeling to no longer be on staff yet kept receiving the church emails. Someone forgot to turn off his account—if they had an XP, he would of taken care of that!
Leadership is commonly defined as influence. Or it can be seen as someone leading, someone following. But what do we know about self-leadership? There is as equal need for self-leadership as there is for the leadership of others. Self-leadership seems to be most critical in the private moments when we are battling our emotions and temptations. Messing with our careers gets personal. We are executives, we are pastors, we are called, we are committed and we don’t deal well with living with the reality of failure.
Below are some of the comments that I share with XPs on the front-end of transition coaching. They are entitled “Think on These Things.” They are not exhaustive but serve to provide clarity and focus points for people battling the storm.
Think on These Things
Transition: Is it good or bad? Leaving a place of familiarity to go into a place of uncertainty always causes a person a bit of anxiety. Career or employment transition is no exception. Here are a few thoughts that you might find helpful:
These truths should be memorized
- God has a wonderful plan for you and is very aware of your current circumstances.
- You have many wonderful talents, gifts, dreams, and passions that are still very useful for God’s Kingdom.
- This transition will bring about opportunities for you to grow and provide you with ways to improve your leadership and service to others.
- This is a season in your life and it will pass.
These are points of wisdom derived from experience
- Transition is often most painful because of poor process and unmet expectations. Don’t allow any of your emotions to hinder you from meditating on the truths mentioned above.
- Bring your current ministry to a conclusion with excellence. Submit to your authorities, be a blessing to all. Be a man or woman of character who makes this easy for others.
- Do not go through this alone. Many of your emotions and feelings will need to be shared with a few others besides your spouse. God designed us for community.
- Allow yourself the freedom to experience a wide range of emotions. You have given a part of your life to this ministry assignment and it is coming to a close.
Suggestions: These are not necessarily easy but will help you finish well
- Create a list of your personal commitments that you will make to yourself to help you finish well. Examples: During this time, I will thank each person that has invested in my life. During this time, I will do what I can to make this easy on others.
- Make daily prayers confessing your need for God’s help to help you trust Him to take care of all your needs.
- Thank as many people as possible for their investment in your life with notes, lunches, etc.
If you know of anyone going through a ministry transition, I would encourage you to copy my comments, or write your own, as an attempt to help them during their time of need. I would like to encourage us as a community of XPs to reach out to one another during times of transition. We need to hold one another accountable in the area of self-leadership and help each other do our very best.