Understanding the difference between push and pull clarifies the difference between making a right or wrong decision to leave.
Leading in any context is challenging. You carry the burden of the people and the ministry or organization on your shoulders. Problems will hit your office. Not everyone will like the decisions you make. Or even how you make them. Not everyone will agree with the priorities you set, the direction you take or the team you assemble.
In other words, you will disappoint people at times. The burden of leadership takes a toll. Because of this, there are always reasons to leave and go somewhere else. Those are often referred to as the “push.”
When people leave one role and to go to another, there is some ratio of a “push” and a “pull.” The “push” is typically a list of reasons someone wants to leave the current context. The “pull” is why someone is compelled to go to a new place of leadership.
Here are four thoughts on the push, the pull and your next leadership assignment:
1. There Will Always Be a “Push” or Series of “Pushes.”
Things will never go exactly as you envisioned they would go. In leadership, there will always be challenges and unpleasant surprises.
2. Because There Are Always “Pushes,” Do Not Leave Because of Them.
If you discern where you should be leading based on the problems, you will always be looking to leave. Sadly, some live this way and miss the joy and fruit of leading through the challenges.
3. There Must Be an Overwhelming “Pull” to Wisely Take on a New Assignment.
If you are not pulled to a new leadership assignment do not go. The people there should have a leader who is deeply committed to them and that context, not someone who is simply running from a set of problems.
4. A Holy Pull Is Liberating.
As believers we enjoy the freedom of following Jesus, our King, who reigns over us and directs us. Sometimes he gives us lots of freedom in major life choices. Sometimes he speaks very clearly about where we are to be, and we listen to His voice and follow him because we belong to him. His command and his pull are liberating, not restricting. The beauty of having a clear “pull” is that you have something to cling to when there are “pushes” in your new role.
Eric Geiger is the senior pastor of Mariners Church in Irvine, California, and the former vice president of the Church Resource Division at LifeWay Christian Resources. This article originally appeared on EricGeiger.com.