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11 Jun '14

People who choose to leave their ministry by taking shots on the way out

Posted by T.J. Addington in leaving well, transitions
So let me just say: It is not cool to take public shots at the organization we have been serving on the way out whether it is justified in our minds or not. It does not serve Jesus, it is not necessary and in the end it reveals more about our character than it does about the faults of the organization we are leaving.

When we choose to leave a ministry for whatever reason, we always have a choice as to how we leave. We can preserve unity, good will and relationship or we can destroy all three. Usually when we choose to take public shots it is more about our lack of EQ and character than it is about the shortcomings of the ministry. 

It is one thing to privately share our observations and concerns with those who can do something about them and it is another to go public with those who cannot and may not even know there are issues. I have watched pastors split churches and staff seek to hurt other ministries they have been a part of on leaving.

Ironically, any ministry that a disgruntled staff member goes to after they have publicly castigated their prior ministry is foolish to receive them. Why would they think that the individual will be any more gracious to them than to their prior ministry? They may feel good at the moment that the individual wants to work for them (and look how much better we are than that other group) but those who speak ill of their prior group may well do the same to the new group.

There are no perfect organizations, or leaders. But what would motivate one to seek to hurt or cast aspersions on either as they leave? The motivation certainly cannot be the betterment of the group they are leaving as they are no longer in a position to contribute. Those doing it certainly know it will not help their prior ministry. Usually the motive is personal and the behavior passive aggressive. It certainly does not fit the criteria given by Paul that what we say ought to build others up. In the end it is simply sad!

As one who has consulted with many churches and organizations I understand dysfunctions. But when I hear public criticism of a ministry as a staff member leaves it usually tells me a lot more about them than it does the organization they are leaving.