Stepping Down

The "why" and "how" of removing yourself from small-group leadership

Stepping down from small-group leadership is a sensitive subject. Why should you do it? When should you do it? How should you do it? Let's jump in.

The Sin Issue

First, I want to tackle one of the most important issues related to stepping down. The sin issue. Sometimes, leaders think they can't confess a sin because it will require them to step down from leadership. Concerns about the group, letting people down, and reputation can put a tight clamp on a lot of leaders' lips.

But let me be very clear: do not ever let this stop you from confessing something that you need to confess. If there's a persistent sin issue that you need to deal with, then talk to your coach or pastor. Don't keep it locked inside because you are afraid of repercussions. And don't just step down from group leadership so that you don't have to deal with it. Your church and your group are more concerned about you as a Christ-follower than you as a leader.

Here are the steps I would recommend in this situation:

  • Confession. Talk with your coach or a pastor about the issue.
  • Prayer. Pray with them and work with them to determine next steps. It may or may not require that you step down from leadership. In a lot of cases, it makes sense for the leader to continue leading the group as a part of their healing process. If stepping down does make sense, then your coach or pastor will help you develop a plan for stepping down in a way that impacts you and the group in the most positive way.
  • Accountability. Make sure you are in community with 2–4 people who can encourage you, pray with you, and ask you the tough questions.

Now, let's look as some of the other reasons why you might be thinking of stepping down from small-group leadership. ...

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