The questions you’d rather not ask yourself
With all the change that has happened in churches over the last six months, I am having a number of conversations with pastors about transitioning to a new church, a new position, or into retirement.
Before heading into a new role, we need to be walking with someone who will ask us the questions that we’d prefer not to ask ourselves. Questions like:
- What am I talking myself into? In your haste to move on from your current role, are you minimizing the nagging questions and yellow flags in the back of your head?
- Are you willing to love the church the way it is? When Theresa and I were preparing to get married, a good friend of mine pulled me aside and asked me if I was truly willing to love her, faults and all. Naturally, I asked him “what faults?” Unlike Theresa, a new church is likely to have faults, flaws, and frustrations that you will need to live with for the immediate future (and likely longer). Can you love this new church as it is… or do you need to fix it in order to love it?
- How long are you willing to wait before they allow you to lead? Every church’s leadership culture is different. Some churches will want you to hit the ground running, others will expect you to slowly build trust over years before they allow you to lead. Knowing this about yourself, and developing an understanding of how long it will take the church to give you the freedom to lead will help you understand whether this is a potential fit… or if you are forcing it.
Our friend Wade Hodges has generously allowed us to share his book Before You Go: Questions Every Pastor Must Ask Before Moving to a New Church with our audience. I’d love for you to have a copy… But a word of warning: these questions may make you uncomfortable.