3 Simple Steps to Follow When You Lose Your Leader

By: stephen barlow

To say that I have been through changes in leadership as a worship leader would be an understatement.

Since NewSpring Charleston launched six years ago, I have had three campus pastors, two worship directors, and multiple supervisors. 

On top of that, I lost the leadership of the pastor who taught me for almost 20 years. 

Whether the leader left for a new opportunity or was removed, I’ve learned from each circumstance. These three simple lessons may help you walk positively through your next season of change:

Trust God.

You have to trust that Jesus is at work in the life of your previous leader and the new leader stepping in. He wants the best for them, for you, and for your church. In every case I have seen, He used the situation to make everyone more like Him and more in love with Him.

I also have to trust that Jesus is at work in me. Philippians 1:6 says He will finish the good work He started. That is such great news. God has a plan, and that plan will bring glory to His name. Change is tough, but we must trust that God is at work, and He wants to do something new in us as well.

God is sovereign over all things, including the leadership changes in your work.

Trust Your Leadership.

In leadership turnover, you must assume the best and trust the leadership in place 100 percent.

Some of my leaders were really good friends, and I had lots of questions about why they left or were removed. Proverbs 4:7 says we should seek to get insight. And Proverbs 18:2 says we are fools if we rely on our own opinions and don’t get understanding. If you can’t trust your leadership, it’s your responsibility to ask questions and seek understanding. 

There’s a good chance you will never know all the details. That’s OK. But, if you don’t trust your leadership, you need to ask yourself why and work through that. 

Do your work.

There’s good work to be done, and you still have a job to do. A leadership change means new relationships to build, new processes to put in place, and, more than likely, new vision to follow. More change is probably coming in a chain reaction.

As a worship leader, you have some of the greatest influence at your church. People are watching to see your attitude and your posture. You need to champion your leader and your leadership, as well as the decisions they make. 

Be willing to become a servant. Help your new leader in every way possible, and fill whatever gaps you see. Take on more yourself, so your leader can thrive in their new role. Become the best worship leader you can be, not to make yourself look good, but rather to glorify God in your work.

Trust God is at work, trust your leadership, and do the good work He has placed in front of you. God is sovereign over all things, including leadership changes.

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