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09. 23. 2023

Staff Transitioning

When to Leave

| 2 min read

Written by Matt Steen
Sep 9, 2020 9:07:47 AM

How to know when it's time to go, before you stay too long


Over the last six weeks, I have been surprised by the number of conversations that I have had with pastors regarding succession. While every conversation has been slightly different, they have all been similar to "I had a ten-year plan, but this has changed everything... and I don't think I should be the one developing this church's next ten years."


Whether it is because they are approaching retirement age, because they have accomplished all that they feel God has called them to do in this church, or because they do not believe that they have the skills required to help the church in the next season, they are beginning to contemplate moving on.

And I applaud them.

Seriously, I am grateful for their willingness to actively, and fearlessly, question whether they are the right person to lead their church in the days to come. This kind of self-awareness is in short supply, and I am convinced that whether they stay or go, their church is the better for having a pastor who is willing to ask the difficult question about their tenure at their current church.

When pastors invite me into their process of discernment about their future, I am quick to point them to what I believe to be one of the finest resources available for this process: Wade Hodges' book When to Leave: How to Know it's Time to Move On (Before You Stay Way Too Long). Wade has generously shared this resource with the Chemistry team, and we would like to share it with you.

You can obtain your free copy by clicking here:




I know that these conversations can be awkward, difficult, frightening, and liberating... and I know that they are not conversations that we can have with just anyone. If you are considering what the season ahead looks like for you and need someone to process it with, I'd love to have a conversation... you can use this link to find some time to talk.



P.S. If your church is preparing to enter a season of succession planning, we'd love to help. We've all heard the horror stories, but it doesn't have to happen to your church. I'd love to spend some time with your team helping you get your succession process right. Click here to schedule a time to talk
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