One of my greatest fears is that I won’t know when to leave, stop and quit. When my husband retired 11 years ago, I had told him that I didn’t intend to “retire.” Yet, on the other hand, I also don’t want to hang around after my time is up. No matter whether it’s minstry or a treasured friendship or a time to stop any other activity, knowing when to step way is vital to the growth of a person and an organization, especially the church.
Of course, I remember Corrie Ten Boon’s greatest evangelistic meetings and world-wide travel didn’t begin until after she was 65 years old. There is the reality of Winston Churchill who didn’t become Prime Minister of England until he was 66. He became prime minister again at the age of 77 and served until he was 81. But what about the person who has outlived his days of freshness and everyone knows he should walk away but he wants to continue to be the final authority, the boss.
In facing the years ahead, there are things I can do to prepare for the time the Lord nudges me away so that others can move forward.
- I can be determined to walk in humility. Of course, this isn’t easy for anyone, However, stepping back is especially for a person who sees herself as a “leader.” For me, the easiest position I can take is being the one who oversees the action.
- Understand that the main job of a leader is to cast the vision for an organization. When the ability to cast a vision is gone, it could be time to step down from leadership. The greatest clue is when you want to do things the way we’ve always done them. Change becomes abhorrent.
- I can continue to learn how to be a better helper. While I know that the spiritual gift God has placed on me is administration, I, also, realize that sometimes people who are the leaders needs other eyes and ears to help shape and implement their vision.
- I must keep in mind that God is able to cover all the parts when the need arises. Most of the time when I’ve left one position, I find that it’s a lot like taking my hand out of a bucket of water. The water remains and so does the bucket.
When it happens to us, change is almost never seen as a good thing. We all like the status quo. Yet, as a Christian, we know that God is never a static God. Everything is in constant flux, regarding God’s world and the Church.
Part of the godly way is knowing when we are part of the Lord’s plan for change and walking into that change.
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
–Corrie ten Boom