will be retiring at the end of this year from her current consultant position. She shares her journey with us and shows us how to allow God to move us out of one way of ministering into another.
Leaders know the day will come when you much ask yourself, “How do I leave successfully so the ministry can continue on without me?” Each of us will experience God’s calling us to leave one place of service to go to another place of service. I think as women in leadership, it is especially difficult to leave a leadership role because we are so relational and those we lead become very close to us and a large part of our life.
So the question remains: how do we let go to follow God?
1. Commit those you have led to God
When Paul was on his way to Jerusalem, he chose to stop and say his farewell to those Ephesians he had led. Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace… Acts 20:32b If you were to read on in Acts 20, you would find that Paul knelt down with all of them prayed and wept. I tell you this to let you know that yes, it is OKAY when we cry as we leave.
2. Give the successor your blessings
Those you lead need to know you have confidence in your successor. You need to encourage the women to support her. Pray publicly and privately for her and the ministry to continue strong.
3. Create a smooth leadership transition
When it is time to leave, we need to face that final transition head-on. I’m reminded of Moses when he passed the mantle to Joshua. Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in The presence of all Israel, Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land… Deuteronomy 31:7
4. Remember the ministry belongs to God; we are just the caretakers. So praise him.
How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people. Psalm 116:12-14
5. Let Go and Let God
Please understand that things will change. Don’t expect things to stay the same with the ministry; when God brings change, it is good. If the ministry belongs to God, it is up to God to determine what he will do with that ministry. I would like to leave you with this last thought to encourage your heart and keep you moving forward.
6. Get excited about what God has for you next!!!
Shirley Moses is an author, Women’s Ministry Team Advisor at Hagerman Baptist Church in Sherman, Texas, and the Women’s Ministry Consultant Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, retiring at the end of this year. She also serves currently as a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier, helping train women’s ministry leaders across the country. Shirley contributed to our leadership book, Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level and is co-author of Heart Friends: Beginning and Maintaining a Small Accountability Group