Saying Goodbye to Student Ministry: Transition Where You Are

So you decided to take the plunge and transition out of student ministry? Great! God is going to do some great things in you and through you as you move into this new phase of your life. Yet, there’s an issue. In order to leave student ministry, you have to leave your church, which means you’ll have to uproot your family to start this new position. Just thinking about moving makes me stressed and tired. However, what if you didn’t have to move, or leave your church for that matter?

The assumption is if God calls us out of student ministry, it is to be a pastor. That may be, but did you ever consider he might call us to one more position as our final preparation? If so, staying at your current church is a possibility you have, unless you truly believe it is to be a lead pastor. I am incredibly blessed. My church allowed me to stay and become their associate pastor. Staying at my church has helped me experience the benefits that comes with longevity. If you haven’t thought about transitioning where you are, consider it. And if you’re still not sure, here are three benefits that come with transitioning at your current church:

You Can Help the New Youth Pastor

Stepping into a new church can be an overwhelming experience. Trying to understand your new ministry and how things have been done can leave you with more questions than answers. Seriously, how many times can you remember telling yourself, “If only I could talk to the previous youth pastor…” Well, guess what? Now, you can be there for the new youth pastor. You can be a source of knowledge and encouragement that every youth pastor needs their first few years at a new church. Plus, you can be instrumental when it comes to passing the baton to the new youth pastor for your students. Staying and transitioning allows you to continue to be a blessing to the students you’ve ministered to and see the work that you started be completed. It’s a blessing not many youth pastors get to experience, but one you get if you stay.

You Continue to Develop Relationships

Ministry is about relationships. Building healthy relationships with the people at your church is key to effective ministry. The deeper your relationships, the more trust you have, which enables you to influence lives for Christ. Relationships take time, and leaving your church means you start back at square one. Yet, if you transition where you are, you have the trust it takes five years to build on day one of your new position. Staying makes your new work easier and yields fruit faster because you already have credibility, which continues to grow the longer you stay.

Your Church Can Grow

Hear me clearly. I’m not saying you’re the entire reason why your church will grow. However, we all understand our positions come with multiple responsibilities, which never reach their full potential because we’re pulled in so many different directions. If a church is serious about growing, than they have to consider how they can leverage their resources, so they can have someone investing in a particular area of ministry 100% of the time. Staying means you get to be the person God uses to develop that new, or current, ministry for growth. If you are a pastor reading this, truly consider how you can transition ministers to other areas of ministry for growth.

In the end, I understand transitioning at your current church may not be a possibility for everyone. Some churches aren’t big enough for it or don’t have the budget.  However, if yours is capable, start praying and talking with your pastor about what God is doing in your life. Dream and vision together about the possibilities of a new position and how it can benefit your church. From there, let God work through your pastor and any other teams who are over your ministerial staff. After that, you’ll know within six months if you’re staying or not.

How can a church be affected negatively if a current staff member stays and transitions?

What do you believe are the benefits of a youth pastor transitioning into one more position before becoming a pastor?

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