Ron came into my office to blurt out, “I’m quitting. I just want you to know, I’m going to quit teaching.” This caught me by surprise. I asked, “Why? What do you mean?” You see, Ron was doing a good job as a Bible study teacher in our church. I truly did not see this coming and did not expect Ron of all teachers to make this proclamation.
Ron went on to say, “Every time things seem to be going good and we are growing (as a class), some of them leave. They go off to start new classes or work in children’s Sunday School. We can’t get ahead. We keep losing people.”
“Ron,” I said. “You are not losing them. You are doing exactly what you are supposed to do; build them up and send them out to work in other areas of ministry. When they go out to help start new classes, it is not to abandon you. It is part of their growth.” I assured Ron, “We need every class to do what yours is doing.”
Whether in Bible study groups, church, ministry, or any corporate organization the goal should be the same: Grow people to be effective and fulfill their life purpose. Unfortunately, too many leaders and even entire corporations operate with wrong motives. Instead of growing people up and encouraging them to spread their wings, we want to use them for our own selfish interests and clip their wings, so they cannot fly and flourish.
Doing this does not improve morale and proves our selfish behaviors. Whether in a volunteer non-profit organization or a fortune 500 corporation, it hurts to see your best people leave and move on. Who is going to fill their shoes? How long will it take to hire someone and get him/her up to speed? So many questions. So many uncertainties.
Yet, building people up to let them go should be our joy and our goal. Not everyone is going to leave our organization, but if leaving is part of their growth and satisfies her life purpose, letting her go should be our delight. Not only our delight, it should be with our encouragement to continue in her growth.
Pastors, CEOs and other leaders demonstrate their understanding as they hire and recruit people with the expectation that they may someday leave, spreading his/her wings to move on in fulfilling their God-given purpose. Great leaders recruit with the intent of helping every employee/volunteer to be his best. Assisting him in becoming the greatest, most effective worker/person possible. Yes, great leaders recruit this way even knowing some of these will leave. If leaving is helping her become her best, who am I to stop her. Instead, my words should be of encouragement.
As we enter this new year, will you spend some time contemplating your role in helping others to become the best, most effective person possible – even if it means God moving them to other opportunities? Treat others as if they have the potential to surpass your abilities. Doing this will move you down the road to becoming a great leader.
May God bless you in great supernatural ways in 2018.
George Yates is a Life Purpose Coach and Organizational Health Strategist, assisting individuals and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.