How often do we resist change? Nevertheless change is part of who we are. Paul said that as followers of Jesus we are with unveiled faces “being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory” (2 Cor. 3:18). I like how John Maxwell puts it, ““We cannot become what we need by remaining what we are.” God brings us into various seasons of transition in ministry to accomplish His purpose in our lives; we must become more like Jesus. And so as Maxwell says, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”
Like it or not you and I are on a never-ending journey of transition – a walk of faith following Jesus into new ways and/or places of ministry. As ministry leaders the LORD not only wants to shape us in His image, but will also use us to help lead others on the path of transformation that they might likewise become more like Jesus.
Change comes in all shapes and sizes from the fine-tuning adjustments made along the way to the life-changing direction of God. Let’s look now at the final four of the seven steps that will help us faithfully walk the path of transition.
Maybe it’s just me; when I sense the LORD providing a fresh vision and direction in ministry I want to move NOW. The timing of change can either forced by moving too soon or neglected by waiting too long. The journey of transition requires being led by the Spirit. Paul put it this way; “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other” (Gal. 5:25-26). God orders our steps as we follow the Spirit. Notice, this not only keeps us in step or on time, but also brings change from the right motive. We don’t make the journey of transition to get ahead or be like other ministry leaders; we walk the path of change because the Spirit is leading us.
This is not a choice; some have called it a mandate. “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Mic. 6:8). Navigating change begins and ends with having the right attitude, which only comes out of being united with Christ. Walking in humility means putting the needs of others ahead of our own comfort. God has invested within each of us various talents that He expects dividends from as we touch the lives of other people. It is not because we have arrived that we are on the journey of transition; rather it is a test of our Christlikeness. Humility that willingly gives of oneself is one way we are most like Jesus (see Php. 2:1-5).
Wherever we might be at in our journey as leaders, we are not alone. Where we are today and were we will be tomorrow is because of the people God has surrounded us with. “I thank my God every time I remember you . . . because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (Php. 1:3-5). Let’s take time to express our thanks for how the various people in our lives have helped to shape us and enable us as ministers of Christ.
The bigger the change, the more likely we are to want to get there. But let’s not neglect where we are now for where the LORD is leading us. Paul said, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the LORD” (Col. 4:17); fulfill literally means to make full or complete. Let’s not leave anything undone or incomplete; let’s finish well. A strong finish is the launch pad to the new beginning the journey of transition is bringing us to.
Did you miss the first three steps in the journey of transition? Click here for Transition (part 1)