It seems timely that I have picked up Henry Cloud's book "Necessary Endings" again, as I approach a major transition in my leadership, preparing to leave my current appointment after 8 years of ministry. Cloud speaks about the seasons of life and leadership and the importance of recognising when necessary endings come and how to embrace them as doorways to new beginnings.
Like with any ending of significance it is met with mixed emotions and responses. When you invest yourself into people and programs to fulfil the vision that drives your leadership it can be difficult to release them to an unknown future. I can only guess (as my children are still at home) that it is not that dissimilar to parents releasing their children into the unknown, after investing themselves into raising them with a vision for their future. One has to trust that the values and vision that have been imparted are strong enough to guide future life directions and decisions.
As I face this reality of change and the uncertainty that it brings, I find myself reflecting on two verses of Scripture:
"God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them." (Hebrews 6:10)
"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6)
There are many truths in these verses, but I am particularly drawn to God's faithfulness and the confidence it gives me to trust Him with what has been begun in His name. I am just a steward of all that God has given me, including the people He entrusted to my leadership, therefore, this 'necessary ending' is not releasing God's people into the unknown, but passing the baton of stewardship onto another anointed leader.
"God is not unjust; he will not forget" the values and vision that have been imparted, so I can be "confident of this, that he who began a good work...will carry it on to completion."