Service transitions can be tricky – here are some great thoughts.
One of the wonderful and scary things about church leadership is that the weekend is always coming. Once your head hits the pillow Sunday evening and you have a chance to get a good night’s sleep, it’s time to start planning for the next weekend. Each weekend brings another opportunity for your church to impact your community; another possibility for lives to be changed; another moment to connect with people.
And another service full of transitions.
Transitions can be one of the most frustrating aspects of service planning for leaders. Everything can be going along smoothly and then a shaky transition can make everyone feel uncomfortable and distracted. Nothing can cause a service to lose momentum quite like 30 seconds of dead air while someone scrambles to the stage. However, the best transitions during service are those that no one even notices. Here are a few things to keep in…
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by Lori Jacobs
Whether your son or daughter is advancing from pre-school, middle school, high school or college, graduation signals the same thing: transition. Being a mother of one of these graduates means another step in letting go. Although these are times to celebrate great accomplishments, sweet memories and a step toward a bright future, graduation can also be a bittersweet experience accompanied by feelings of loss, particularly if the transition of your graduate results in an empty nest. Because transition will always be a part of life, we must learn how to deal with it in a healthy, Godly manner. Here are a few things that may be helpful:
- Enjoy the moment. Be present and keep a joyful spirit without wishing for the past or worrying about the future.
- Celebrate! Put on your party shoes. Celebrate the person and remember to give thanks for God’s goodness and guidance in their lives.
- Pray. It sounds simple, but this can be an overwhelming time of attending events, planning parties with friends and neighbors, and hosting family get-togethers.
- Constant communication with the heavenly Father will help keep you grounded and peaceful. Our lives change, but He never changes. (Hebrews 13:8)
- Find a friend. There is nothing like having an understanding friend for conversation, compassion and encouraging words during times of change.
- Embrace the new stage. Our steps are ordered by God. This new phase is another opportunity for growth, a deeper relationship with Him, and discovery of the next adventure in your life!
by Cary Van Kampen
Our son, Charlie, graduated May 4, from Evangel University with his degree in Psychology. His friends were all bidding farewells and transitioning on to the next phase of life through moves in location and commencing careers and so on. Charlie expressed mixed feelings as he completed his degree on Friday. He is preparing for more classes to begin on Monday, since he is already partially into his master’s degree in counseling. Not a big transition for him—more of the same. Daughter Emily, however is maneuvering the big transition Charlie pioneered last year-moving out of the dormitory for the last time and preparing for married life this summer. This was somewhat bittersweet for us as parents.
As our time of college kids in dormitories comes to a close, we had a few thoughts to go out to those who will be making the transition of high-school students going to college. Here is our list:
- Pray for a first floor dorm room.
- Learn how to text.
- Pray for those advising them for classes.
- Be patient with their time schedules, refer to #2.
- Pray for their tests, papers, mid terms and finals.
- Assure them they are still part of the home family.
- Pray for their health.
- Keep them appraised of family life and activities, refer to #6
- Pray for their future spouse and life-long friends they will discover.
- Encourage them to maintain their Biblical principles but to adapt to new opportunities God brings for them to explore.
- Pray for their instructors.
- Set up a time to skype at least once a week.
- Pray that they will handle their new freedoms properly.
- Send them stuff in the mail-even a couple of dollars!
- Pray for connections to occur for them to be involved in areas other than academics.
As you peruse the list, you may notice the emphasis on prayer. College is not only a time of transitioning for students, but for parents as pray-ers as well! And remember, “Rejoice in the Lord, always!”
by Don McGarvey
He understood the need for a continual state of transition in order to maintain effective ministry. He understood that the world was changing and world missions needed to transition from effective methods of yesterday to the new methodology of tomorrow.
If you’ve studied world missions, you know that nothing stays the same for long. It seems that world missions has been in a continual state of transition from the very beginning. The history of missions is peppered with stories of missionaries riding on horseback into the bush traveling from village to village to proclaim the Good News. Today we are effectively utilizing methods to reach a world that is vastly different than it was just a few years ago. We’ve learned that what is effective today might not be effective tomorrow.
Transition can be frustrating, but it is inevitable for effective ministry whether it’s on the other side of the world or just down the street. Our world is changing, but thank God we have the changeless message of Jesus Christ to present and we have the continual leadership of the Holy Spirit to show us new ways of connecting with the lost and loving them into the Kingdom of God.
For those of you who are parents, you understand that kids seem to grow about as quickly as in this video. A dad filmed his daughter each week until her twelfth birthday and this is what he came up with:[vimeo http://vimeo.com/40448182%5D
Kids grow up very quickly! As parents, pastors and leaders, we have a unique window of opportunity to invest in our children and students. Celebrate each transition!