The single most important decision we make is the decision as to how we will leave our ministry when our time is up. It is more important than the decision to come and it is more important than many of the decisions we make along the way. Because this final decision has the ability to hurt and destroy all that we have built and this decision reveals our true character. Will we do all that we can to uphold the Bride as we leave or will we do something to hurt the bride on the way out! And whatever choice we make, it cannot be undone.

As a church board member and organizational leader I have watched people make both very good and very poor decisions on how they exited their ministries. 

I have had people come and say, "T.J", I sense it is time for me to go and I want to do everything I can to make this a seamless, God honoring transition that blesses the organization and leaves it ready for the one who takes my place.

I have had others who came with demands and indicated that if those demands were not met they would do all they could to hurt the organization on their way out. And I watched some who did just that. Their bitterness drove ungodly behavior which undid much of what they had done during their tenure. 

How we leave is a test of our true character. Those who try to hurt a ministry or its leaders on the way out reveal a bitter spirit and heart that is willing to see God's work compromised in order to justify their own sinful behavior.

Contrast this with Paul who knew that some people preached out of envy and rivalry and even selfish ambition but "what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice (Philippians 1:18)."

No matter what the circumstances with which we leave we always have a choice. To be gracious for the sake of the One we serve and His Bride. Or to be bitter and divisive because we can. The first reflects the Spirit while the second reflect the flesh in all of its sinfulness. How we leave is a test and a reflection of our true character. 
  • Feb 10, 2013
  • Category: News
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