Later today, I’m meeting with a worship leader who is no longer in his former role. Happily, it’s for good reasons. And hooray, he’s even still involved in the worship ministry.

But it still a change.

And I’ve been involved in circumstances where a leader’s exit isn’t easy, healthy, or productive.

I also know leaders who are in their second decade of ministry at the same place. But that’s certainly uncommon.

The reality is that you’re either coming from a transition, in a transition, or will at some point be in a transition. So here are just a couple thoughts on navigating, perspectives to have to help you thrive despite the changes.

The Long View
Transitions are just disorienting, emotional, draining, energizing - just all over the map! If it’s your first one, it can seem like your whole world is over. If it’s your fifth, it can seem like it’s the end of the line. First, the church has been going for so long that your tenure at one spot is literally like a blip on the timeline. Take a sec, catch your breath, lean into the Lord and listen to what He’s saying. It’s not over. You’re  s t i l l   b r e a t h i n g .

God’s Orchestra
We try to figure out the end of the movie, the next chess move, the resolution to the theme in an orchestral score. But the Conductor, the Author, the Finisher is leading this thing. R.E.L.A.X. (That’ an acronym for read Psalm 23 and calm down) The Sovereign Maker of the Universe knows what He’s up to. He makes great music. Sometimes the tension has to build before the resolution can be fully appreciated. (And no, it wasn’t really an acronym, just relax)

Kingdom Orientation
Kawhi Leonard got traded from the Spurs to the Raptors for DeMar DeRozan. Sure DeMar thought he’d play his whole career in Toronto and Kawhi wanted to go to LA. But don’t get trapped in thinking that you moving from one church to another is like that. There is one Kingdom of God. One Church. You’re still playing for the same team. The role is just different. Even if the title is the same elsewhere.

Act Human
Don’t pretend it isn’t hard or awkward. You can’t take it. It’s crushing you. You feel overwhelmed. I know. Just stay in there. Meet Him where His blood pooled, where earth and wood met. Suffer together. #HappyFaceNotRequired

Take a Step Toward Help
Going it alone isn’t the way. Talking with a coach, a friend, someone outside the situation will help you to, as Bob Steele once said "in the hot waters of life, you can either become an egg or a potato. Don’t be an egg." Same environment, different results. We all get pretty stupid when we’re left to our emotional thoughts. Reach out!

Make some lemonade from this thing! Each of us has "stuff" that we do that we learn isn’t so helpful. Take the opportunity of each new phase to drop something or add a new good habit. Let the energy of the newness propel you into healthier action. Don’t just copy and paste. Don’t just copy and paste. Don’t just copy and paste.

You know I’m always here if you need to talk. My cell phone number is (717) 468-6428. Call me. I’m serious.

- Dave