Have An Exit Strategy Before You Get Started

Courtesy Philip Taylor PT/Creative Commons License

When you find the perfect church to work for you should start planning your exit strategy.  I know that sounds funny, but in all seriousness start figuring out how you are going to leave your current job.  If you don’t you will start building a ministry focused on you, instead of God.

If you enjoy what it is you do, you need to have a succession plan or else you might interrupt your church’s momentum.  When you don’t create a succession plan you risk leaving the next guy hanging.  You risk allowing the program to crumble.  You risk distracting your pastor from leading the church so that he can find your replacement.
If you like your church (Even if just a little), you want to leave it on the best note possible.  While you might only stick around your church for 2- 5 years, you still need to develop a plan.  And you do that when you:

  • Define And Grow Leaders – Are you the only leader in your ministry?  If you can’t answer that question then you need to start looking at recruiting and growing strong leaders.  They can’t be you; but, they should be able to take on the responsibility and have goals for the program.  Invest, train and give them clear roles.
  • Craft And Cast Vision – When the ministry is only about you and your ideas it will fall apart.  Crafting a God honoring vision will help you change the focus from you to Him.  When the program becomes about God, it creates the opportunity for other leaders to step up and take the reigns.  Make sure the vision is clear and then engrain it into the minds of your teams.  When you focus on God, you allow Him to lead you.
  • Share The Investment – Is your ministry a program or a cause?  If it ceased to exist, what would your community look like?  You need to look at your ministry like a movement and not a monument.  Therefore, share with others why your ministry needs to exist.  Get them fired up about your vision and values because if you have to step away one day, they’ll be the ones to make sure your ministry keeps moving without you.
It’s easy not to think about your ministry’s future because there is so much happening in front of you now.  That’s why it’s important to look at your team not just as volunteers but as future leaders.  It’s important to have goals and a destination.  And, it’s necessary to look at what God has called you to do as a movement.  When you do that, you see yourself as a piece of the puzzle instead of the puzzle itself.  When that happens you glorify God and grow His church.
What does your succession plan look like?

Have you thought about replacing yourself at your current job?

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