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  • I'm a creator, entrepreneur, author of DREAM YEAR, and aspiring novelist. My wife Ainsley and I live in Virginia Beach with our five kids Wyatt, Dylan, Cody, Annie & Millie

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EASILY the best post you've ever written. This is gold. There's a book in this concept, Ben. I'm telling you.

I agree with Justin 1000%. And I'm trying to figure out how to forward this to my former pastor without looking bitter. It's too late for me, but there are others who are currently under him, and he *needs* this message...for his sake and theirs.

haha, u might want to refrain lindsay. =)

This is so true. My husband and I are entering the phase of "passing on". We are so excited to see what God is raising up under us. I look forward to the day when we will be watching and encouraging from the sidelines instead of out front all the time. I know God will have a new assignment for us too. God's favor won't leave us, it will just move to a new area of ministry. I think we approach these transition years with excitement because we have released leadership little by little through out the years. We've been in full-time ministry for 25 years and at first we did it ALL! it has been amazing to be able to release and relax as we approach this next phase. I am blessed to be married to a man who understands he is not his gift; or his ministry.

Just a word of encouragement too: prepare now for your time of transition... Don't place your value in your position, find it in Christ and within yourself. I know you can't imagine it, but there will be a time when your fresh ideas will be old hat...
You are not your gift
You are not your ministry
You are a valuable person no matter your position!

when will the church realise that we are in a relay race and the baton needs to be passed? when this happens in an actual race the two runners run side by side for a time to make sure the baton is not dropped. what a wonderful picture - generations running side by side giving and receiving from each other so that the whole team win the race.

as a forty-something, i like to think that i'm going to empower and invest and release. but i'm scared that at some point, my mindset is going to turn and become what you are cautioning against....

thank you

I just left my role at Sandals Church to pursue another path. I received amazing support and the blessing of the Pastors and the staff. To be sent off with their blessing and support made the transition easy and my passion to serve God in the way I know he has called me even greater. Great post.

when i was 25 or 30 i would have loved this post.

now i approach 40 (and am NOT the top dog) and see it a bit differently.

i definitely see the value in this, and have witnessed the truth of your words, Ben. however, i've been greatly blessed by the example of David, who rather than seizing that which he had been anointed to, chose to WAIT for God's timing.

do leaders need to pass the baton? ABSOLUTELY!
but do those with great gifts and potential need to sometimes wait on the Lord? i think so.

Thanks Ben! Your book Church in the Making so helped me out in a time where I was needing clarity on my, or should I say God's, next move for me in a ministry. I think if all embraced Paul's advice in esteeming others higher than ourselves (Phil 2:3) we would never hinder those who God has entrusted to our leadership to Be All They Can Be (I'm also a US ARMY Veteran). Hopefully this blog will be shouted from rooftops.

Thanks again!

eDDie Velez

david, thanks for the feedback. I'm 37 in december, so i feel ur pain. but i still hold my organizations in an open hand. if the departure of my gifted team should wreck them, then so be it. i even started a little thing called Dream Year because I want to be on the encouraging side of dreamers

Peter McGowan, Mike Foster, and Blake Ryan and the team at PlainJoe Studios have been uber-supportive in helping transition to and launch into my role with Creative Fuel Studios. When a situation happens like the one you mention, there is pain on both sides, to leave and to be left. I pray to be both supportive in-house and out of house.

An excellent insight, Ben. Posts like these last two are why your blog is in my must-read feed folder.

I wonder how an organization could take the idea of blessing new ideas, initiatives, and even spin-offs into its culture. What if people's entrepreneurial spirit was nurtured, instead of squashed?

I've found the Portland, Oregon creative scene to be a small community of excellence that clumps together, works together, explodes apart again and then repeats. There seems to be an assumption of that cyclical nature and restlessness of creatives. Bridges are rarely burned and working groups reconfigure many times, with variety, over time (freelancers, staff, etc.).

What if the Kingdom was like that?

David, I love the visual of the relay runners.

Dang. That's powerful and dead on. Ego and the self preservation sure do wreck a lot of what could be.

Love it!

I love this post. May I also recommend an out of print book called "Barbarians to Bureaucrats". Great business book that looks at history and why org's/companies are dying. When an org (Very Applicable to the Church) is controlled by bureaucrats and aristocrats, it is dying, even though numerically it looks like it is very healthy. It snuffs out the "prophet with a dream" person who brings health to the org. The org is no longer healthy, it is dead and does not know it, yet. IMHO that is where many churches and org's are today. We are in some cases big, but that can be more a sign of death than life. It is deceiving. We need new blood, new ideas, new leaders, and new ways to measure health. Press onward young people.

I was recently pushed out of my organization. There were many reasons, I'm sure... financial was the main one. However, I was different. I didn't fit the mould anymore of a church I helped establish. I asked too many questions, challenged "the way it's always been done." Truthfully, I think I scared them. I was not a "bubble" person.

In the end, I had my Christianity challenged. Meaning, they were asking if I really was one anymore.

It was offensive and sad that it came to that, and the parting was extremely painful.

Now, I'm out of church world and am working at Starbucks. I love the people and what our mission is. But now when I think about church, I'm not really sure yet if I want to be a part of one. It's a healing and rebuilding time, and I'm really leaning into that.

But how do organizations who started out with so much hope and vigor to change the world end up like this? It's been a hearbreaking cycle to watch. I know the story for this church is not over yet, but I'm not in it anymore. And that was my dream.

For me, this post helped make sense of some of it. Thanks, Ben.


thanks for sharing this stacy. when i started a church in 2001, i remember being at a crossroads of needing to abandon the form of church i was working in... or create a new culture. in this way, God uses frustration to shape a vision.

if you can see your circumstances not as a let down, but rather as God-given frustration to shape a new dream, then i think you'll be ok.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

Awesome! a great reminder for everyone, really, since we all hold sway over someone..

I just got asked to not be around my former organization leading worship and such because I am "too polarizing a figure".

Great post. It was nice to read this as I have been thinking about this topic for the last few months. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Ben!

What a great post! So true. 15 years ago my boss pushed me out of the nest to take on a new project, even though he knew it would cause him more work to replace me and retrain someone. I have never forgot that. He thought more about me than he did of himself. He was a blessing. Now, as a Director for the past 10 years, I tell any of my staff, that, I like you, but you will not be here forever, so let's make sure everyday you spend here on my team, that you are enriched for the future. It blows them away that their boss would encourage their growth and support them on their career journey. Anyway, thank you for your post Ben, and yes, if you are blessed by a book, sign me up for the first copy!

Just a note: Of course, I refrained. :)

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