Willie George founded Church on the Move 30 years ago. Recently, he transitioned the senior leadership of the church to his son, Whit.
How do you follow a legend? How do you keep a large, widely respected church growing? And how do you handle family tension?
Carey interviewed Whit and Willie about all this and more live at the Seeds Conference. Here’s their conversation.
Watch the interview LIVE from the 2017 Seeds Conference
Pastor George on
Whit George on
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3 Insights from This Episode
1. Don’t ignore the outward and inward signs necessary to embrace change
How do you know it’s time to make a change in your current role? What are the signs the time has come for someone else to take your place?
For Pastor Willie George, there were outward and inward realities he could not ignore. Outwardly, He witnessed God giving insight to leaders he wasn’t receiving. He noticed staff and members were gravitating towards a new direction in church leadership. Inwardly, he was no longer as driven to plan for the future of the church and could feel himself letting go of the responsibility.
Did he still care for Church on the Move? Of course. What hadn’t changed was his desire for the church to continue to grow and succeed. With all the stirring inside he knew God was preparing his heart to embrace the decision ahead of him.
2. Be faithful to your calling right where you are while waiting for what’s next
In ministry, we must be disciplined in the act of submitting to God’s will and not driven by our own aspirations. Many times that means waiting and trusting for what’s stirring within us until He’s ready. Find rest in the fact that if God has called you to be somewhere different, His hands will make it happen. There’s no reason for you to force the change all on your own. Get out of God’s way and let His plans come to you. And while you wait, be fully present where you are now; remaining faithful there until you’re called to whatever is next.
3. Plan your transition well so that God can move your church forward
Church on the Move made sure their staff and members were ready for the transition when Pastor George decided it was time to pass his role to his son, Whit. Here are the 4 steps they used to experience a successful leadership change:
1. Keep Your Staff in the Know – Teams that work closely together often sense when change is on the rise and they are quick to wonder, worry and whisper about it. Once your leadership team is equipped for the big announcement, an All Staff Meeting is crucial to maintaining a healthy work place for everyone behind the scenes in your church.
2. Break Out into Small Groups – After the All Staff, meet with each department to answer questions and continue casting vision in a smaller setting. Equipping each part of your team for the changes and challenges ahead.
3. Inform Key Influencers – Reserving time with key influencers, givers and volunteer leaders will give you the opportunity to thank them for all they’ve done so far for the church and provide an opportunity to request their support in the season ahead.
4. Prepare the Congregation in Advance – When a date is set for the announcement, spend a few Sundays beforehand to prepare the hearts of your church members with messages that touch on Biblical transitions.
Quotes from This Episode
Don’t let what starts with you end with you. @cnieuwhof
You don’t have to think less of my dad to think more of me. – @whitneygeorge
If God’s called you to that position then it’s gonna happen. – @whitneygeorge
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Next Episode: Jon Acuff
New York Times best-selling author Jon Acuff is back on the podcast to talk about research he did about why some people finish their goals when most people don’t. In this wide-ranging interview, Carey also deconstructs some of the rhythms and routines that have made Jon successful. Finally, Jon offers some challenging public speaking advice for preachers.