Monday, March 26, 2012

5 tips to transitioning well with new leadership.

Prayer and Worship Night in Maryland | Iphone3gs

Have you experienced a transition in leadership?  What was that like for you?  Our ministry is going through a transition in leadership right now... 

Since we are now in Hawaii we have handed over the day to day leadership of our ministry in Maryland to two very capable people.  Whenever there is a shift in leadership, there is natural transition period.  This can sometimes be an awkward time.  Here are 5 things I shared with our new leaders before we left.  (Probably much more clearly articulated here than when I was praying for them at our prayer meeting.) 

1.  Continue to do things based on VISION and MISSION.
As a new leader, can you say that what you are doing is fulfilling the purpose of the vision and mission of the organization?  Can you show others why what you are doing achieves the fulfillment of those things?  

At times during a shift in leadership, people will see this as their opportunity to get things to go how they’ve always wanted them to go.  By pointing them back to the vision and mission of the organization you can take the pressure off of personal decision and preference and back to the larger goal of the community.  Reminding people often of why we do what we do will help reinforce the vision and mission of your organization.  

2.  Continue to ENCOURAGE one another.  
Encouragement is so HUGE.  During this time of people stepping up into new leadership positions, fears and insecurities might arise.  Encouraging the group to be supportive, honoring and encouraging of the new leaders and of one another brings unity.  Having your leadership team take time to be intentional about encouraging one another and the ones they are leading will be time well spent.  

Encouragement changes the atmosphere of a group.  Speaking out praise of one another, building one another up, showing appreciation for one another builds community.  It develops trust, and deepens and fosters relationships.  It also focuses on peoples strengths instead of their weaknesses.

3.  Continue to ASSUME THE BEST of one another.
Choosing to believe the best of one another is crucial in any community.  The devil loves to try and make us believe the worst about someone, which causes us to judge their motives.  When this happens, we become suspicious.  Then simple comments, which meant nothing, become deeply offensive.  

Choosing to believe the best of one another will stop you from making mountains out of molehills and keep you from wasting your time and emotional energy jumping at shadows.  

4.  Continue to be THANKFUL.  
Before we left Maryland, God was leading us to make thankfulness a part of our culture.  

Being thankful for what God is doing in your life, puts the goodness of God on display and it breaks off any bitterness that is trying to creep in.  

Being authentically thankful for what God is doing in other people's lives is powerful as well.  Doing this breaks any spirit of jealousy or comparison.  We serve a generous God!  When God does something amazing in one persons life, we can thank Him because He can and most likely WANTS to do that very same thing in other people's lives as well.  

5.  Continue to be INTENTIONAL.  
The first part of our mission statement is “intentional community.”  To be intentional about community requires a commitment which practically manifests by showing up to meetings on a regular basis and making it a priority. 

During the time of transition is important to be intentional about everything.  Being intentional about the above things and being proactive to make these things a priority will help bring people to ease about the changes that are being made.  

Getting a good strong START during this transition will help build a better foundation to build upon.  

Engage:  What have you found valuable during times of transition in leadership?  Let us know in the comments!


  1. My ministry is in a transition stage right now as well. As a former leader handing the responsibility on to new leaders, I'm realizing a need for over-communication in some areas. We can't assume they'll just know all the details we put into a year of ministry, so our training has to be very thorough and we have to leave enough time for questions to arise that we wouldn't have thought of at first. It's also important to connect the new leaders to resources and people you've networked with, so they'll be equipped with the same things you had.

  2. awesome thoughts! thanks Kerry! What I'm working on now is to put together a written manual of responsibilities and daily tasks, sometimes putting things in writing is a HUGE help and then once your gone people can still refer to it.


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