I feel like all I do lately is share announcements and talk about transition. Such is life. Stillwater has hired Mike Nygren to be the new director of youth ministries for our three campuses. I’m excited to be a part of a good transition. On Tuesday, Mike and I were both present in staff meeting and it hit me. This is rare. That an incoming and outgoing leader sit in the same meeting and do their best for the ministry at hand. We’ll be working together until the end of May. I’m excited to learn from Mike. He’s one of the most experienced leaders I’ve been around. Check out his resume.
Mike is helping me say goodbye to these teens. I didn’t expect that. He’s giving me all sorts of space to make it a natural transition. And I’m not experiencing much sadness (at least right now!) because I’m leaving these teens I love in such good hands.
Our youth ministry will look different. For it to continue the pace of growth we experienced this past year, discipleship group leaders will become pastors to their group of teens. Mike will focus on missions and leadership development. We’ve put together an Evolution team of 12 teens and several adults who will go on retreat with Mike and I next week. This team will discuss what it takes for a youth ministry to transition between leaders.
I spent a lot of time in prayer early on in these discussions. I didn’t want my ego and pride to get in the way during this transition. God knows I could have screwed it up big time. But I’m thankful I’ve experienced nothing but excitement, peace and purpose. I know my job for the next 2.5 months is to love teens, get them excited about new possibilities and continue to point them to God. Mike’s job is to plan a great summer, get to know teens and adults and prepare to enter local church ministry after a long break.
I have a feeling another reason I’m at peace during this time is because Aaron and I are going to another place God has called us. We did the best we could while we were in this place. Now it’s time to do our best in the next place. What a gift to be fully present where you are.
One thought on “transition & peace”
One of the best gifts I was given in starting a ministry was the gift I received when I started at Stonybrook UMC in Gahanna – from the outgoing youth pastor. She and I met (pretty briefly) and got along famously. She assured the young people that they would be in good hands. I gave them space to still love her even though she wasn't still there & when tragedy struck, it was so awesome to have her there, too. I was glad that she was able to come to their graduation parties and still be their friends- and be my friend, too.