Transitional Leadership for Youth Ministry: Remembering the Past (Part 3 of 7)
This is part three of the 7-part series I posted on my blog, dedicating real estate to blogging through the transitional process--announcing departure, setting up systems for success, remembering the work God has done, looking into the future, etc.
This afternoon I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with two of the more active girls in the youth ministry I will be leaving at the end of this transitional period. We spent a couple of hours just hanging out, eating Taco Bell cinnamon twists, laughing, and remembering.
I can only hope that I can have this kind of opportunity with as many of the kids from this youth ministry as possible before my last day comes on June 5th. Time to just hang out. Time to remember some of the goofy things we have done together. Time to remember together where God has brought us over the course of the past three years.
This time for remembering is an important part of the transitional process. It is a part of the process that helps to bring closure. Throughout the Old Testament, God is always exhorting the people of Israel to remember... remember the covenant, remember how the Lord brought you out of slavery, remember all that the Lord has commanded, remember the places where the Lord your God has been faithful. These exhortations to remember are particularly poignant in times when the people of Israel are undergoing trial or transition.
And then, in the New Testament, Jesus--preparing to leave his disciples to continue his work on the earth--calls for his disciples to remember. In the Last Supper, Jesus commands his disciples to "...do this in remembrance of me." He knows that the change in leadership that lies ahead will be a challenge, and he leaves them with an opportunity to remember... to remember Him and his leadership, and to remember the great work that God has done in and among them.
I hope that in the coming weeks, there will be more opportunities to sit with youth and remember. And I hope that remembering continues to bring laughter, and tears, and joy, and healing, and hope for a new future. May we take the opportunity of this transitional season of leadership to remember all the places where the Lord has met us in these past three years.
Erin M Haligowski
Erin M Haligowski serves as the full-time Youth Director at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Centerville, Ohio. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies (Practical Theology) from Ashland University (2007) and a Masters of Divinity in General Ministry from Ashland Theological Seminary (2011). Erin is a social media power-user, and blogs regularly. She is happily married to her husband, Scott. In her dream world, Erin would spend her time sharing Jesus with young people, playing guitar, and sipping a good cup of light roast coffee from Caribou Coffee.