5 Reasons Not to Leave—Even Though You Want To
by Rick Howerton
Many of us tend to get itchy for new ministry challenges.
If you’re like me you’re a catalytic leader. That is, you were made by God to start something, pass it on to someone else, then move on to start something else. While this is an important responsibility, sometimes, those of us, no matter what our leadership style, may have a tendency to jump ship before God’s done with us in a particular setting.
I think there are at least five reasons to consider staying at the church you’re serving.
1. It takes time to accomplish a God-size vision.
Too many church leaders are called to a location with a vision in mind and leave before that vision has become a reality.
The vision is what drove them to their new position and they believed with all that was in them that they were to accomplish that vision for that church.
The problem… they jump ship before the vision has docked and the church they serve finds herself starting over with a new leader long before God’s expectations were completed.
2. You haven’t mentored someone to pick up where you left off.
Great leaders are mentoring someone to take their place when they exit.
This assures the church that the ministry can continue on becoming all God meant her to be.
3. The grass really isn’t greener when you shepherd different sheep.
Many church leaders leave a church because of a few difficult people.
There are some churches that have problem people and they are always going to make a staff member’s job hard, even painful. But for the most part, people are people and there will always be some in every setting that are going to be problematic.
Rather than leaving, it may be much wiser to learn to work with, around, or in spite of the few difficult people at the church you’re serving. You may just move to a new location to find there are a few problem people who are more problematic than the ones you just left.
4. A move will affect your family.
Too many pastors forget that their families are deeply affected with each move.
If God isn’t vividly calling you to a new location, just for the betterment of your spouse and children, stay put. They deserve it.
5. It takes time to realize the obstacles that stand in your way.
There are obstacles in any ministry situation. Those obstacles can’t be overcome until a ministry leader becomes aware of them. Some of those obstacles won’t even be on a minister’s radar screen for two to three years.
Taking off to another church starts the process of realizing these and removing them all over again.