A lot is written and spoken of in regards to transition. It’s a scary word with a lot of baggage (and close cousin of the even scarier word, change).
I’m not moving from one job to another nor even moving from one department to another. I’m moving from being the Junior High pastor at one of our campus locations to becoming the Junior High Teaching Pastor/Program Developer of all Junior High ministry.
I would contend to say that most of our volunteers (and almost all of those who aren’t involved student ministry in any capacity) have little to no idea there is a difference between the two.
Even still, despite how slight the change is for our program, the leadership of Eagle Brook Church, along with myself, engaged intently on considering how this transition affected the church, the program, the volunteers, and myself.
Without question, this has been the healthiest process I’ve ever been a part of.
1. Lots of conversations with varying people around the table. From day one, we communicated. Openly. Sometimes I initiated conversations to check in with my teams and boss and others to make sure we were all on the same page. Other times, various ministry heads would call a few people into discuss how things were going. The point is, there was a tremendous amount of conversation (open, honest, and clear) with various people around the table at different times.
Transition Key #1: Talk. With lots of people. More than you think you need to.
2. Submission to Godly Authority. I remember listening to the podcast of Shane Hipps’ first day at Rob Bell’s church, Mars Hill. During the service, the board of elders from Shane’s other church came and “gave Shane away.” Meaning, they were there with Shane. Had walked with Shane. Had prayed with Shane. Had sought God’s will together, and Shane was not going to go without their blessing and consideration in his move from one church to another. That moment forever marked how I would pursue transition. In this case, I sincerely sought the blessing of those in authority. Without it (and I let them know), I would not go through with it. I truly believe God anoints those in authority, and if used correctly, must be submitted to by those who fall under their authority.
Throughout this process, I felt so secure in the decision to be made by those in authority. They are men and women of a deep commitment to God, excellence, prayer, and this church. I trusted them and admired them throughout the process, and learned a lot about what it means to be a leader.
Transition Key #2: Submit to the Godly men and women in authority in your life.
3. Don’t discount God. It should go without saying that ultimately change and transition is up to God, but let’s get real, many times have I pursued my OWN agenda rather than God’s. This felt the other way around. God seemed to have his hand all over it from the get go. I learned to trust God to ultimately lead the direction.
Transition Key #3: Don’t discount the powerful hand and move of God.
Ultimately, when faced with a choice of transition or change, talk a lot, talk with a lot of people, submit to the Godly authority in your life, and don’t discount the direction of God.