TEXT: 2Timothy 4:6; S/Reading: 1Samuel 12:1-5
INTRODUCTION: There is a syndrome that is pervading the political landscape of Africa. It is called the ‘sit tight syndrome.’ Stepping aside when the ovation is high is a negation of this syndrome.
To step aside means to leave the stage, to create vacancies, to give way for others to come in, to retire, not in death but alive, not forcefully but voluntarily, not when things have fallen apart but when the ovation is high.
Administration is a continuum. One generation works and gives room for another generation. That is the beauty of this Vision (TAC). Nobody can be there forever.
- NEED FOR LEADERS TO STEP ASIDE: 1Sam. 12: 2.
- When the incumbent stays too long, 1Sam. 12: 2c
- When the incumbent is old and weak, 1Sam. 12:2
- When the incumbent had raised sons, (mentees),
- Because the Church Constitution demands it (75 years)
- For the emergence of another leader, Josh. 1:1, 1Sam. 12:1,2c.
- To inject fresh ideas into the system (the Church).
- PREPARING TO STEP ASIDE: 34:9; 2Tim. 4:5.
- Need to put in place sound administration, Eph. 4:11, 12.
- Need to raise and train your successors, Deut. 34:9
- Do not instigate the system against the in-coming, Exo. 32:23
- Need to prepare a comprehensive hand over document
- Need to run the church (race) according to the rules, 1Cor. 9:24.
- TIME TO STEP ASIDE: 4:6
- Paul was ‘now’ ready to be offered. He understood the timing of his life and ministry.
- He understood that the ‘time of departure’ was already at hand and he was ready to face it.
- He did not delay, deny, procrastinate the time or create tenure elongation for himself.
- When a leader begins to underperform as a result of failure of the body or frailty, then it is time to step aside.
- When a leader attains the stipulated age for retirement in the church, then it is time to step aside.
- STEPPING ASIDE SHOULD BE TOTAL: 2Tim. 4:7
- Paul said,
- I have fought a good fight…
- I have finished my course…
- I have kept the faith…
- Leaders should learn to leave the scene completely. No interferences. No god fatherism is required here.
- Go home and rest. Allow the new administration to work so that they can learn and grow in the assignment.
- Do not place financial demands on the new administration. Do not demand tokens, benefits and promotions for your children or loyalists.
- Such interferences would not really show that you have truly stepped aside.
- Such interferences could confuse the system and create multiple loyalty among the followers.
- Authority and directives should only flow from the new leaders.
- BENEFITS OF STEPPING ASIDE: 4:8
- A crown of righteousness as was with Paul, (Col.1:15), which he laboured to have, 2Tim. 1:12.
- Rest from all administrative and ministerial burdens, Matt. 11:28.
- The joy of seeing his children prospering in the ministry will also excite the retired.
- As the Lord may have it, he could live longer because of the reduced activities in retirement.
- To the Church, fresh ideas will be injected into the administration and this will move the church forward.
CONCLUSION: This message is a clarion call to all our leaders to understand their time, (Eccl. 3:1). There is time to begin; there is time to step aside, especially when the ovation is loudest. Take that bold step and retire when the celebration is high.
R.H. 104: ‘O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home……’