Finishing Well - Part 4
by Brett Davis
This is the fourth and final part of a word God gave to me from 1 Samuel 12 about finishing well. The first part was "End clean to start clean" where Samuel invites those he has led to clear up any hurts or injustices thus leaving the way clear for unhindered relationship for his successor. The second part was "Look Back" and remember the successes and failures from the past and learn from them. The third was "Look Forward" by committing to live a dedicated holy life above all else.
Now the fourth thing we see is "I’m not leaving you."
1 Samuel 12:23 reads:
"As for me, I will certainly not sin against the Lord by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right."
We see here Samuel saying that whilst he is leaving his role as leader of Israel, he is certainly not leaving them. One's calling is not necessarily determined by one's position. I do acknowledge that for some leaders as they move on from a role they move on from the people all together. However, I would claim that if God has called you to a task, you will always carry the people in your heart.
This is even more true of founders than others. Birthing something means you raise something very much like a father and as such the bond with the people is strong. I have done some research on something called "Founders Syndrome" which acknowledges the challenges of founders moving on. It recognises that founders can be incredible assets or, sadly more commonly, terrible liabilities. Founders Syndrome describes the founders inability to let go, be controlling, resist change, restrict new leadership. Whatever it is, I'm sure I personally have some dose of it! However, there is a way through this in finishing well.
We finish well when we acknowledge that the people were never 'our people' they are 'God's people'. Even when another person is stepping up to leadership, they are simply exercising a gift for the benefit of God's people, not being 'God' of the people. I like Samuel's promise to keep praying for them and to keep teaching them. Both of these actions are more about pointing the people to God, not to himself.
Reading ahead, Roy Harley keeps pointing out to me that Samuel's influence continued as very significant for the incoming leader and amongst the people. Rather than a competition for significance, Samuel was able to compliment the new leadership, even when poor Saul lost his way...and that's not a prophetic word on my successor Roy! The new and the old coexisted largely because of the humility that comes from knowing this is God's will for God's people for God's purposes. After all, we are building the kingdom of God, not the kingdom of Christian Surfers, or Brett Davis, or Roy Harley.
So I feel God saying clearly that as the founder of CS I am to affirm to all that whilst I am leaving the role (and, by the way, with much less angst than Samuel had!) I am not leaving you all. I will continue to pray and encourage and advise. I will not be engaging in politics, or complaints or strategic direction. I will be leaving the Board of Directors. I will not be leaving my staff position with CSI. I will be leaving the International Director Role and taking up a 'Founder/Advisor' role. Most of all, I anticipate continuing as an ambassador for CS, under God, promoting the greater good for all.
So, I believe you finish well when you can leave a role, but not leave the people, giving an appropriate level of support that does not undermine the new leadership.
I urge you then to help lay a secure financial platform for this succession by making a one off gift to the Succession crowdfunder. Would you join me in finishing well by supporting the future? Make your pledge at http://igg.me/at/csinternational.