“What is the question your life and ministry are asking you today?”
That’s the question I asked a group of youth leaders a few weeks ago at the beginning of a retreat.
And out of the 15 or so folks gathered, at least twelve spoke of some significant transition they were in the middle of—with their health, their marriages, their ministries, their vocations, their parenting.
And I was one of them.
As of August 1, 2014, I ended my 28 years of ministry at my church (exactly 1/2 my life) and concluded my vocation as a “youth pastor,” the only real job title I had ever had since becoming an adult. I’m sure I’m experiencing just a little vocational vertigo these days.
But as unsettling as transitions can be, they are also seasons ripe with opportunity. In most sports, more points are scored during times of transition and chaos than at any other times in the game. Learning to navigate transitions with alacrity (yep, it’s a word) used to be a skill we needed once a year. Today, it may be once a week.
In fact, learning to stay the course with joy, through the acute distractions that always come with major change, may be the most important life skill required of us in the coming decades.
More and more, transition is the normal life of ministry.
We can choose to leverage each transition to leap-frog us more quickly to where we’d like to be. Or we can keep swirling in the inevitable churn that always comes along with any major change. The choice is ours.