the shape of leadership

Four Questions to Ask Yourself About Moving On

Knowing when to stay put, and when to go

Kent Ingle on June 4, 2021

How do you know when to persist in your current place of ministry and when it’s time to move on to something else?

This is a question I hear frequently as a leader. Many people have a desire to do more with the purpose God has placed on their lives but may be waiting for clear directions from Him.

If you are doubting where you are right now and are seeking new ways to live out your purpose, here are four questions to ask yourself:

1. Have I prayed about it? This may seem like an obvious question, but some people skip this step altogether. They get caught up in emotions and forget to seek the One who placed the calling on their lives in the first place. Or they may be afraid that God will ask them to stay where they are.

Romans 8:26–27 says, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”

It’s amazing how time alone with God can change our perspectives. God may be calling you into something new. However, if He is asking you to stay where you are, He will help change your heart.

2. Am I going through something difficult? Your circumstances may cloud the calling God has placed on your life. When the going gets tough, it’s easy to tap out, walk away, and find something new. Yet it’s in those moments you may need to seek God and redefine your why. Remember why God called you to the place you are now.

God may be teaching you something in the present that will help you endure in the future.

As James 1:2–4 instructs, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Every test and challenge you encounter can help refine who you are. God may be teaching you something in the present that will help you endure in the future. In your moments of discouragement, set aside your feelings before you make the decision to move on.

3. Has God released me from my current position? The grass will always look greener on the other side. You may be feeling bored in your current position and looking for something more invigorating. If so, this is the perfect time to lean into God.

Romans 8:28 says, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Notice the verse specifies “his purpose.” When you live out what God designed you to do, you won’t have any hesitations. If a desire to move is a constant theme in your life, there may be something else motivating your choices.

4. Have I talked to people I trust? Big decisions should be vetted by the people you trust the most. These are people who want the best for you and who will challenge you if they think something strays from God’s will.

Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”

Surround yourself with people who will ask you the tough questions. Trust their guidance in these situations. God has placed people in your life to walk with you while discerning His calling.

In every moment, whether in the stillness or commotion, seek God, instead of confusing His calling on your life with one's personal desires.

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