Skip to main content

transition & peace

I feel like all I do lately is share announcements and talk about transition. Such is life. Stillwater has hired Mike Nygren to be the new director of youth ministries for our three campuses. I'm excited to be a part of a good transition. On Tuesday, Mike and I were both present in staff meeting and it hit me. This is rare. That an incoming and outgoing leader sit in the same meeting and do their best for the ministry at hand. We'll be working together until the end of May. I'm excited to learn from Mike. He's one of the most experienced leaders I've been around. Check out his resume.

Mike is helping me say goodbye to these teens. I didn't expect that. He's giving me all sorts of space to make it a natural transition. And I'm not experiencing much sadness (at least right now!) because I'm leaving these teens I love in such good hands. 

Our youth ministry will look different. For it to continue the pace of growth we experienced this past year, discipleship group leaders will become pastors to their group of teens. Mike will focus on missions and leadership development. We've put together an Evolution team of 12 teens and several adults who will go on retreat with Mike and I next week. This team will discuss what it takes for a youth ministry to transition between leaders.

I spent a lot of time in prayer early on in these discussions. I didn't want my ego and pride to get in the way during this transition. God knows I could have screwed it up big time. But I'm thankful I've experienced nothing but excitement, peace and purpose. I know my job for the next 2.5 months is to love teens, get them excited about new possibilities and continue to point them to God. Mike's job is to plan a great summer, get to know teens and adults and prepare to enter local church ministry after a long break.

I have a feeling another reason I'm at peace during this time is because Aaron and I are going to another place God has called us. We did the best we could while we were in this place. Now it's time to do our best in the next place. What a gift to be fully present where you are.

Comments

The Thief said…
One of the best gifts I was given in starting a ministry was the gift I received when I started at Stonybrook UMC in Gahanna - from the outgoing youth pastor. She and I met (pretty briefly) and got along famously. She assured the young people that they would be in good hands. I gave them space to still love her even though she wasn't still there & when tragedy struck, it was so awesome to have her there, too. I was glad that she was able to come to their graduation parties and still be their friends- and be my friend, too.

Most Read

Why Some Experienced Clergy (and Lay People) Have a Hard Time When Younger Clergy Take Renewal Leave

This is a guest post from my very own dad! He's a United Methodist pastor serving in Bend, Oregon. I enjoy chatting church leadership with my dad and it's fascinating to see how our generational differences bring different perspectives to our calling as pastor. We need each generation to walk with each other as we figure it out in this new world. We've been reflecting lately as I finished up a renewal leave and he prepares to retire this June. 
By David Beckett
I fall into the category of experienced clergy which is a polite way of saying I am old. I’ve been pastoring for nearly 40 years. When I was a young pastor my role models were mostly white males who presented an image of success that equated with dedication, overwork, and sacrifice. My first senior pastor talked about the 20 hr/wk he invested in sermon preparation. And he expected his staff to work beyond their stated hours. During those three years of full time seminary and a large youth group I put in up to 80 hr/…

Why pastors need collaboration, not competition

There's competition in every industry. Some get promoted over others. Some work incredibly hard but their gifts go unnoticed. Others do good work and people assume they're fine but underneath, they feel like they could never be honest about how hard life is in this season. People spend more energy figuring out how they measure up in a work culture instead of doing the actual work.

Competition itself implies there are two sides.

I remember field days at my elementary school in Alaska. The half-frozen spring ground was covered with clumps of dirty gray snow. Jackets were thrown on the ground as the fourth graders tried to beat the fifth graders at tug of war. Rope burns were shrugged off as sweat dripped down our young faces. We were determined to beat those fifth graders. Our pride was on the line.

Whether you're a fourth grader or an ad manager at a fancy marketing agency or a senator trying out for attorney general, competition runs deep in our DNA.

We want to be the bes…

99 sheep

Reading Matthew 18:10-14 on this cloudy Anchorage summer morning. Parable of the Lost Sheep. A guy owns 100 sheep. They belong to him. These sheep are loyal and depend on their owner for everything. But then one wanders away. I wonder if this sheep wandered on purpose or accident?

The guy leaves the 99 sheep grazing on the hillside to look for the sheep who got lost. One word in verse 13 jumped out to me. "Andifhe finds [the sheep]...he is happier about that one sheep than about the 99 that did no wander off." IF he finds it. This guy who owns the sheep probably knows the hillside very well and knows his sheep's behavioral patterns. But he may not find this lost sheep. 

When someone wanders off, it's up to them if they want to get found. 

When it comes to our connection to God, some of us may wander on accident. Or on purpose. 

We wait for someone to rescue us. Bring us back. Make it okay. But we have to turn towards the one rescuing us. God will leave the other 99 sheep…