Whenever I have overseen people, I have tried to manage them in such a way that not only benefits the organization but also develops the person. When I was a senior pastor, I would think of a new challenge every year for each person I oversaw.

I’d think, “What do they need to develop to their maximum potential?” and then I’d deliberately pick something that would help them grow and stretch in a particular area.

One year I couldn’t think of a new challenge for a young man I was overseeing. I prayed and listened to the Spirit, but I just couldn’t come up with anything that would stretch him in his current position.

So then I started having a different conversation with God. Maybe this man needed to plant a church so he could end up in a senior pastor position. I began praying about him becoming a planter. That was a painful conversation to have with the Lord because he was so valuable to me in his current position.

After a couple of months, God said to me, “You’re right, he’s ready to be a senior pastor. But I don’t want him to plant a church—I want him to lead this one. You’re out of here.”  And God called me to something new.

Sometimes to develop people to their full potential, we have to be willing to give up our best.