Transition Story 3: Good-bye

Some of you already know that my family is on the move again. If you didn’t, you can catch up a bit on that story here. In short, we’ve done enough transitioning to make it hardly comfortable for any family. The move we’re making in two weeks will be our third in just two years!

In light of all of that, I thought I’d share a series of three posts I wrote for Youth Specialties during our transition from our youth pastorate in Rapid City, SD. These were originally shared in August of 2010. If you missed the first parts in the series, here’s the links to Part 1 and Part 2. Here’s Part 3…

PART THREE: Saying Good-bye

This final post is more of an encouragement for churches versus a how-to for youth workers.  When Deanna and I had our last weekend at Destiny, they did a tremendous job of sending us off.  Far too many transitions are akin to harsh business-like terminations.  Instead, I hope that churches can honor youth workers as they leave, sending them off blessed instead of defeated.

I put together a video of our last day at Destiny which highlights several of the ways they did their best to honor us before our leaving.  Here’s some of the things that they did for us:

• Table Display – featuring pics of our family, a bunch of blank cards and envelopes for people to fill out, and a gift devotional for each of my family members (members were encouraged to write personal notes of encouragement inside).

• Special Sunday Morning Message – our pastors crafted the message after “life lessons” they had gleaned from our family — so humbling.

• Farewell Service and Celebration – featuring several friends and peers sharing their memories, some fun picture moments from the past, presentation of some gifts from the church, a blessing/sending prayer, and cake and root bear afterwards!

Talk about being sent off encouraged!  We are so thankful for all the great memories that we were able to leave with.  Deanna and I didn’t feel deserving, but we were sure blessed.  I hope that’s your story, too.