The Graceful Exit

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The Women’s Ministry Council works on an standard calendar, our ministry year runs January through December.  Every December, as we draw closer to the end of the year, there are two important things that happen.  First, at our last meeting of the year, I will put a call out for anyone who is interested in serving as part of leadership in the coming year.  Second, I send an email to our existing team members and offer a graceful exit.

Life changes.  Commitment levels change.  Availability to serve will change.  It is incredibly important to us as a team that everyone who is serving is doing so out of a desire to serve vs. a feeling of obligation.  I will ask our leaders to examine their availability and pray for God’s guidance in serving the next year.  I give them a couple of weeks to consider it, and then follow up for an answer.

I love welcoming new members to our meetings and on our leadership team.  I also love the ability to release a woman from her obligation to serve where God is leading her.  It is a beautiful gift to allow a fellow leader a graceful exit.

This is something that we should also embrace within our ministry leadership at the church level.  Sometimes we take for granted that a woman who was called will stay for the long haul, and we are unable to recognize that her season has come to an end.   We may even find ourselves in an awkward scenario where she is waiting for you to release her from the ministry, and you are waiting for her to broach the subject.  She may fear that she will be letting you or the ministry down by leaving.

If we are doing our jobs as leaders correctly, we should always be seeking and developing new leaders so that as we say goodbye to an outgoing leader … we are also saying welcome to an incoming leader.

Whether your ministry term runs January through December, follows a liturgical calendar, or the school year calendar…. consider how you can allow your leaders who need rest or relocation a graceful exit.

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