Friday, September 7, 2012

The Exit Ramp

I remember Dr. Sam Chand teaching us in a class at Southwestern Christian University on leadership where he taught us about people exiting your organization. He told us to help teach people how to leave correctly.

What I have seen is that most people exit jobs, marriages, pastoral positions and churches wrong. This is a matter of character. I have also seen that the people who leave wrong have very inconsistent lives. They struggle keeping jobs and relationships.

We have all taken an exit ramp at some point while driving. There are keys to exiting properly. Here are the keys and parallels to exiting a situation:

1. Is this our exit?
You have decide if this exit is your destination point. You do this by consulting a map. A map is an objective standard that helps you decide.
Most people exit at the wrong place. They exit because of compulsion or temptation. There are some great exits with awesome stores, but it may not be the right place. We need people to speak in our lives to help us be objective. Mentors are like maps. They have already been down that road. When someone doesn't want wisdom, they don't ask a mentor. Eventually they pay for it dearly.

2. What is the exit ramp "speed?"
As you make an exit you have to determine the required speed of the ramp. Some ramps are 45mph, others are 35 and you have some that are 25mph.
Most of us like to speed up once we feel called out or a season ends. This is serious. If you do this on an exit ramp, it could harm you and your passengers. If you do this in life it could harm you and the people you are with (family, church family).
Take it slow when exiting. Prepare and plan. Don't rush it. Rushing it is a sign of immaturity and impulsiveness. Slow down when exiting.

3. Do You Know the Traffic Flow?
Finally you have to yield to traffic and merge correctly. It is easy to get sideswiped when exiting or sideswipe someone else.
The final act of exiting is merging. Make sure you are being sensitive to what God is doing and how your exiting and merging is impacting others. Be sensitive and aware to God and people.

The organization I lead is a church. I wish I could say that people do it right, but it is often here that I see the most train wrecks and trouble with exiting.

Remember, you don't have to work up anger to leave. You don't have to be mean. Finally: the way you exit one season will determine your success in the next season.