The words that ‘the dip is where success happens’ where I embrace the challenge. As I have been going through work transitions and it has been quite a task to try and make a decision. The book ‘The Dip’ by Seth Godin helped me see that the even though many people are afraid to quit, there comes a time when one has to decide when to quit. I have come to that decision. As I wrote a resignation letter to leave my position and signed an appointment letter to a different position, the book helped me understand that there is no harm in making the transition. True, quitting is difficult but the ‘seven reasons why you might fail to become the best in the world’ become my benchmark.
1. You run out of time
2. You run out of money
3. You get scared
4. You are not serious about it
5. You lose interest or enthusiasm or settle for being mediocre
6. You lose focus on the short term instead of the long
7. You pick the wrong thing at which to be the best in the world
Number 5 was for me the one that would apply. If I stayed on, I would lose interest and settle for less than what I can be. This was already creeping up in my work. I know I am quitting at the right time now and the feelings of difficulty in making the decision are a normal process of transition. I choose to be exceptional and since I cannot achieve this in my current placement, I will not be average, so I quit and take up the challenge to be exceptional in my next place of assignment. I have learnt that I need to let go (kill) what is not working for me, it is not easy especially when dealing with relationships. Ministry is about people but when one senses that compromising personal values and standards of excellence for averageness, and there are no avenues to step up, the result is not waiting around to see what more could be there, but to quit.
Is this a smart choice, at a time when incomes are challenged and taxes are increasing? Isn’t better to stay and ‘tow the line’ of mediocrity? Seth says that unlike in the past, there are no more job guarantees in the long term even in fortune 500 companies, and I would imagine so even for the church. I was reading the latest posting by Jason Clark on 10th June 2013 (www.jasonclark.ws) indicates that the churches are going to be smaller rather than mega churches as is the trend. If that is the case, there will be massive job losses. Securing a job in a mega church is no guarantee for career, especially that most of these churches is giving three-year job contracts. Even though the church is reportedly growing very fast in Africa, the trend might change.
Moving from a known mega church (with 10 congregations in major cities) to an unknown small denomination (not so small with more than 1500 congregations) is not an easy decision. What would stop me? Pride, as Seth points out is a real hindrance from leaving a ministry position. One keeps asking, ‘what will people think about me?’ I am past this because I realize no one is bothered , I am creating scenarios in my mind that are not reality that do not apply in my decisions of transitions.
I ask myself these three questions and answer them honestly:
1. Am I panicking? No
2. Who am I trying to influence? No one at my current position
3. What sort of measurable progress am I making? None that aligns to my calling and passion for missions
I want to be the best in the world, for the glory of God and for the work of missions in Africa, therefore I quit.