Tie a knot and hang on

I posted here on this before, still thinking it through and decided to process a bit more here today.

We’ve all heard the expression, “when you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”

I wonder if that’s always true. There may be times when the right thing to do is let go.

In our denomination, there is a debate raging about using quotas to lower the average age of our leadership structures. What if, instead of forced quotas making already too large groups even larger, some who have been in positions for years if not decades stepped out of the way for others to step up? Maybe the problem doesn’t have anything to do with demographics, but has everything to do with individuals refusing to let go of power. They have tied a knot and are hanging on for dear life.

It just might be true that the ones who willingly hand off positions to those coming up behind them would have more influence than someone who hangs on. Maybe, the key to getting the following generations interested and involved is to mentor and facilitate opportunities for them to contribute in significant ways and even give them some of the positions of influence.

Ideally, no one generation would dominate leadership to the exclusion of others. It takes a variety of viewpoints, experience, and perspective to accomplish great things. Working across the generational lines seems a good way to operate. Using quotas and political maneuvering doesn’t seem like a good way to make that happen.

Which is better, stay in position and make the younger generations pay their dues or hand over positions while there is still time and energy to influence?

Would like to hear your thoughts…


  1. Pastor,

    Re: The Rope Theory

    Knot necessarily.

    Every rope has two endings and/or two beginnings. Particularly, when the knot is tied in the middle.

    An issue confused all the more by this well-oiled, propagated fact: Today, “80 is the new 60.” That is, after an hour’s session at the Upper Arlington senior citizen gymnasium. With sno knee-high, what a grand excuse to skip a week. Or two. Kinda like church attendance.

    Transversely, when Paul considered himself an “old man” in letter to pal Philemon, senior citizens were a mere 60 years of age. A Boomer before its time!

    Just whom does one ideally relegate to the front porch rocker of the old folk’s home? Rick Warren or that Beverly Shea guy? Or, heaven forbid…ME!

    Talk about a rope-a-dope!

    There’s a rumble in the jungle a-goin on out there.

    Don’t know about others, but I’m confoosed.

    Seems “Simple” never is no more.

    Just wonderin as I wander…

    Seniorously yours,


  2. Innovation is precarious. In one way or another, innovation drives success, but at times, environments can become so locked into the mindset of “if it aint’ broke, don’t fix it” that time is wasted and opportunity overlooked.

    Organizations thrive or die according to their latest innovation. Leadership must foster innovation for continued success: often that means providing brain storming sessions, mentoring, and forums for questions and creativity.

    While not from a biblical perspective, I recommend the book Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box. I was impressed by the practical analysis and advice; a quick read, and well worth the time.

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