Ministry in the Rear View


EXITING: the do’s and don’ts

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Talk to your pastor

Seek Christian counsel from out-of-town friends

Work diligently to make the next person’s job easier

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Move out and move on

Leave well


Talk about your pastor

Talk to church members

Expect the ministry to fall apart without you

Hang around and try to influence others to leave the church with

Leave bitter


Volunteers move to other positions, change schedules, and quit.
It’s part of the package. If you’re a volunteer and you’re thinking
about leaving, don’t sidestep good form and etiquette simply
because you’re not paid for what you do. Here’s a checklist for
departure when it comes to volunteer positions.

Decide if it’s really time for you to leave. Since
this isn’t a paying job, it’s easier to underestimate the impact
that leaving will have on the ministry, the church, and even your
life. I’ve seen volunteers quit a position because of personal
challenges or scheduling conflicts. This can be a spiritually
unhealthy response to the situation. If you’re facing personal
difficulties, remember, “Those who refresh others will themselves
be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25). Giving of yourself when you
don’t feel like it can actually lead to tremendous personal growth.
Don’t immediately walk away because it gets hard…that can be
where the good stuff happens.

Give advance notice. One month is appropriate for
most volunteer positions since they’re often scheduled monthly. If
you can give longer, that’s even better.

Don’t be embarrassed or feel condemned about your
If your leader reacts to your notice in a way
that makes you feel this way, that’s unfortunate. However, your
response to guilt trips is completely your choice — you don’t have
to take that trip. Choose the high road. Keep communication honest
and upfront. In most cases, good communication will keep the doors
open and relationships intact. You’ll most likely feel welcome to
return if you choose to at a later time.

Don’t spread gossip or dissension. Regardless of
the culture, environment, or circumstances surrounding your
departure, make your exit gracefully. You don’t want to stand
before God and have to explain to him why you found it necessary to
trash Sister Jane to everyone in the preschool department. Just
walk in love and move on.

Keep moving! Just because this season in ministry
is over doesn’t mean it’s time to pull over and idle in the service
lane. God has a place for you to serve. Go figure out what it

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