Embracing transitions is one of the critical leadership tasks every leader must master if we are to do God’s work, God’s way, and in God’s timing. Sadly, endings and transitions are often poorly handled in our families, ministries, organizations, and teams. When this happens, we miss God’s new beginnings—both personally and in the ministries or organizations we lead.
While our culture views the endings in transitions as a sign of failure, i.e. something to avoid, God views them as maturing discipleship moments to receive His new beginnings.
Scripture requires we embrace God’s 3-phase process:
- Endings: Nothing new takes place without an ending. A real ending—a final death—often feels like disintegration, falling apart, a coming undone. It feels that way because that is what death is.
- Waiting: No one enjoys waiting. But waiting for God is one of the most important things we do in the Christian life.
- Letting the Old Birth a New Beginning: The central truth that Jesus is risen from the dead is what enables us to affirm that endings are always a gateway to new beginning – even when we can’t discern that anything redemptive could emerge from our loss.
And remember Parker Palmer’s excellent summary: “On the spiritual journey…each time a door closes, the rest of the world opens up. All we need to do is to stop pounding on the door just closed, turn around—which puts the door behind us—and welcome the largeness of life that now lies open to our souls.”