Awhile ago, some key leaders of our church left in a way that was really hard for me and Niki and our church. We talked to a more senior pastor about it, and he shared these thoughts:

— The people leaving don’t feel and see how this will affect the church because they’re not the pastors – they don’t have the call and heart for the people that we do.

— There’s a constant risk that people will see you trying to promote or advance yourself when in fact you’re acting out of what you want for them.

— Your defining moments in ministry are WHY you’re moving – is it God’s prompting or something else?

— Let them go. But tell them your heart and if they take these steps, it may lead to heartache and grief for them.

— A word of the Lord that we believe will ALWAYS be tested. He always tests the “yes” we give Him to see if we really believe.

— Bless them and love them out the door. Be honest with them.

— There’s a difference between a rip and a release. Find ways to work with them to protect the flock.

— Make their departure about your new future, not about the past.