Processing Transition In Your Community
Every transition is marked by three stages: the ending, the waiting stage (or the space in-between), and the new beginnings. Each of these stages is significant and will take time to process, so we encourage you to not rush through them but to give yourself ample space to reflect and respond. We want to give you a framework to process the stage that you are in, as well as a preview of how you might feel in the days ahead. Throughout this transition, allow yourself to feel whatever comes up — sadness, excitement, anger, fear, hope, or anything else – and invite the Spirit and your Community into your processing. As you work through this guide, it may help to read out loud the short description about each stage of transition before discussing the subsequent questions.
It must be acknowledged that every transition involves a death of sorts, a loss of what was. For us to truly get to the other side of this transition in a healthy way, the ending phase requires us to get in touch with what exactly we are losing and then to grieve those losses. The grief process is neither linear nor logical, and that’s okay. It may take longer than you’re comfortable with; don’t expect to be fully through it all after tonight.
- With that in mind, spend some time as a Community naming and sympathetically acknowledging the losses you are grieving or can foresee grieving as Bridgetown goes through this transition. What makes you sad about these changes in our church?
The Waiting Stage
There is a crucial stage when going through a transition that exists between an ending and a beginning. We often skip this waiting stage because we either don’t know that it exists or because we don’t understand its value. It is in this space of waiting that we begin to anticipate new beginnings while we receive God’s future hope and healing for our grief. Yet, before we can move into the new beginnings, we must recognize that our anxiety about the future can rise in this space while our energy to move through our emotions falls. It can often feel disorienting or aimless, but it’s a crucial part of the journey.
- What fears or anxieties come up for you as you hear about this transition? What about this transition do you perceive will be difficult? What questions do you have?
On the other side of the death and the waiting phases is an opportunity for new life. Oftentimes, in fact, new beginnings can only exist because of a transition. The loss we face in a transition creates the space required for new life, growth, and opportunity. And as apprentices of Jesus, we get to practice resurrection even in things like transitions.
- What hopes do you have for Bridgetown on the other side of this transition? What are you most excited about?
Even after all that reflection, questions may remain. Where do we go from here? How do we continue to process this transition well? How can we actively participate in this transition? We would suggest the following ideas:
Pray: Please partner with us in this transition through prayer. Join us in praying for
- John Mark, Tammy, and their family as they transition off of Bridgetown staff
- Wisdom and unity for our church
- Tyler, Kirsten, and their family as they transition into the Bridgetown family
Process Further: While group reflection is significant, we expect that you will need some space to process on your own. With that in mind, we’ve created a separate guide with some more questions to journal through here.
Encourage John Mark: If you have been impacted by John Mark and his time in leadership at Bridgetown, we would encourage you to take a moment to bless him and his family as they transition off of Bridgetown staff by writing a short encouragement or sharing your gratitude for his service of Bridgetown Church.
Ask Questions: Our desire is to help our church as much as possible in this transition, which includes clear communication. If you have any questions about John Mark or Tyler’s transition, please reach out to us.