A Day in the Life of a Pastor – Hardest Assignment: Giving your Job Away

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If you are a leader, your hardest assignment is yet to come.  It is the assignment of handing the responsibility and role of your job to someone else.  Basically, you are going to give your job away.

As a leader, we are used to developing vision, making crucial decisions and developing strategies to accomplish the goals set before us.  It is hard work.  Yet, a true leader relishes the challenge.  We want to be in the game and have our hand on “throttle” as our team moves towards the finish line.

The last post, I shared about GFC’s journey as our Lead Pastor began to transition someone else into the weekend sermon responsibilities.  After  twenty-two years of ministry, someone else’s voice was going to carry a significant amount of clout from the pulpit.

We focus on the Lead Pastor position because it is high-profile – but every leader, at every level, faces a transition.  I can only imagine how small the percentage of people who start in one position and stay there a lifetime.  In fact, even in healthy situations, if a person is “climbing the ladder of success,” you are taking different roles and positions.  Which means, you are leaving roles and positions.  

One of my first roles at GFC was the Children’s Pastor.  To this day, I think it is so cool when a child knows that God loves them and he/she accepts Him as Savior.   As I took on new roles, the day came where I had to give that responsibility to someone else.  It  wasn’t easy.  We had a good foundation, values and principles but I knew that in stepping away, that leader had the right to make any changes he wanted.  I would walk by the rooms and think, “I wouldn’t do it that way.”  It wasn’t right or wrong; it was different.

Gratefully, we chose a wonderful leader to replace me.  He brought a younger, fresher way of ministering to children.  I watched him grow.  I oversaw him from an executive level and he continued to develop a new level of ministering to kids…until the day we asked him to take over the Junior High Ministry.

Which is an ongoing tension in leadership.  If you are a good leader, you will find opportunity to change positions and responsibilities.  If you are a great leader, those under your leadership will be asked to assume leadership roles and responsibilities.  It creates a healthy demand for new leadership. 

As you can see, transition never really ends.  Healthy organizations continue to develop the next generation of leaders and put them into place.  So, transition is always happening and it is happening at all levels.

The next few posts will talk about how to do this.  They are practical lessons for anyone who is a leader that wants to promote commitment and engagement from those they lead.  Plus, it is an application that will empower the next generation leaders under you to grow and reach their highest potential.

Next week:  The Three Things a Leader Cannot  Give Away.

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