Pastors, When Do You Move On?

I’ve watched people in organizations – in government, business, nonprofits, and, sadly, far too often in the church — some leaders (people) simply stay too long. Leader, leave before you have to leave. 

Does that sound cruel for me to say? I certainly don’t mean it to. Yet, some leaders simply stay beyond their welcome. Beyond their usefulness. And beyond their ability to make an impact and leave a positive legacy.

At the same time, I’ve known some people – and some strong leaders – that left when thing were going really well. They could have stayed longer, but they wanted to transition out during a good season. That always seems to work better, in my observation.

So, I have some advice.

Leave before you have to leave.

  • When you are tired of attempting to attain the vision – or have a competing vision
  • If you can’t support the senior leadership – publicly or privately 
  • When you have no heart left to give the organization – and that’s okay to admit 
  • If you consistently struggle to stay motivated – if coming to “work” is a chore – everyday

Certainly, when you feel God is freeing you to move elsewhere.

Don’t be forced out because you’re too stubborn, scared, or have a false sense of loyalty. You’ll do more harm to your reputation, your attitude and the organization during the miserable days.

And it may be you need a rest – a sabbatical – some extended time away, but the point of this post is to encourage you to do the right thing – for you and the organization. Never stay for a paycheck, or a false sense of loyalty, or because you’re afraid to walk again by faith.

Leave before you have to.

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This article originally appeared on RonEdmondson.com and is reposted here by permission.

Ron Edmondson
Ron Edmondsonhttp://ronedmondson.com

Ron Edmondson is the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. He revitalized two churches and planted two more.