Leaders, especially ministry leaders, have commonly asked me questions about how to process new jobs/opportunities that come their way. What questions should I ask myself? How do I wrestle with changing jobs? Here are six questions, in no particular order, to ask:
1. Am I running from something or to something?
Leading is extremely challenging and filled with seasons of frustration and discouragement. Because of this reality, when a leader is pursued for a new role or opportunity, there is a temptation to view the new role as a great opportunity to run from current challenges. But the challenges of the new role will likely match the current challenges in short order, so if you don’t have a passion for the new role, you will find yourself in the same position. Brad Waggoner, mentor and boss, has often encouraged, “When considering a new role, be sure the pull is greater than the push.” You will have “pushes,” but be sure there is a way more compelling “pull.”
2. Have I looked at my current role through fresh eyes?
Before you consider another role, privately (in your own mind) resign your current one. Look at your current context with fresh eyes. Do you see the opportunities? Are you still as passionate for the mission as you were the first day? Though you may have seasons of discouragement, the opportunities for impact are likely as big or bigger than they were when you first arrived. Only now you benefit from tenure and better understanding of the context.
3. Am I looking to my job for something a job cannot give me?
Your current or future job cannot satisfy the longing of your soul. Only God can. If you look to your job to satisfy you, your job will always disappoint you.
4. Where would I most likely be developed?
More than God cares about where you serve and what you do, He cares about your development and maturity. He may use the team around you to be the primary means of your development. Or He may use the challenging and stretching opportunity as the means to drive you to deeper dependence on Him. But as you process, ask yourself where are you most likely to be challenged, developed, and sanctified?
5. Has the Lord given peace?
As my wife and I processed a move at one point in our lives, she read in her devotional book a phrase that really resonated with us. “If there is no peace, the answer is no.” The lack of peace from the Lord made it clear that we were not to go where we considered going.
6. Does burden and passion increase the more I pray?
As you pray about the new opportunity more and more, does your passion and burden for the people and the mission increase, stay the same, or decrease? If it does not grow exponentially, be very careful you are not considering a new role only because of a “push” (see question 1 again).