Learning from Transitions

Do you like change? Some of us enjoy the variety and newness of change; others dislike the disruption and uncertainty it brings. Some of us prefer to revisit the same places for vacation because we want to know what to expect; others will always find a new location and enjoy the unknown and newness.

Organizationally, most of us would say that change for the ‘right’ reasons is good and needed but may not be pleasant for those affected by the change process. Many of us witnessed this during our recent global reorganization. When the organizational design became clear, it significantly impacted over 500 staff serving worldwide at the Global and Area levels, including myself. The organizational change led to a time of transition for the people affected.

For two years, along with many of you, I’ve been dancing an unscripted choreography to new music playing all around the organization. It’s been challenging! Ultimately, I’m optimistic that the designed effects of the reorg will help strengthen the national-level ministry. However, there is still much to figure out to get us all dancing together. 

In July 2023, I stepped out of my relatively ‘new’ role on the Global LDHR team as the Regional LDHR Leader for Europe. That means that I’m going through a transition again!

Why? The reasons that took me and my family from Russia to Hungary in 2014 have all changed. Years ago, there was an Area Team, a school for our kids, and an office for meetings. None of those reasons compel us to stay today, other than we enjoy living in Hungary! Looking forward, we don’t feel the Lord calling us to serve internationally in a 4th country, so we’re returning to the US after 26 years abroad. Yes, it feels like a big transition!

What I’ve learned about transition:

  1. Maybe the Lord wants this, even if I don’t feel like it. We are called into a dynamic relationship with the Lord, who has many plans for us. If I am willing to trust Him and take steps of faith, I find out what those plans are, even when it’s uncomfortable.
  2. Change is inevitable, so I prepare myself and also enjoy each day because I don’t know what tomorrow will be like. My attitude can make a difference – if I am pessimistic or optimistic.
  3. If I highly value stability and constancy, transition will be more difficult. So, I try to build flexibility and variety into my current days to help me prepare for future change.
  4. Changes will not lead me to a tomorrow just like today. Organizational change, leading to personal transition, will always lead me somewhere new. If I constantly try to reestablish my former ‘normal,’ I will be frustrated and ultimately ineffective. It’s better to embrace my current reality and my ‘new’ normal.
  5. Reality is my friend. When I embrace my current reality (and future one) with a learner’s heart, I can see what new and significant contributions I might make. Failure to do this will sideline me and leave me frustrated.

I will continue on the Global LDHR team, serving on Paul Cheesman’s Resourcing Team. Lori, my wife, and I plan to move to Chicago, IL, this fall. We want to live in a large city, engage in local ministry part-time, enjoy the multicultural atmosphere, and live more simply in a high-rise (no more yard work, please). Lori will continue in her role (Global Leader Strategies).

These are some current thoughts on transition and the inherent challenges I’m facing.

How do they relate to the changes you are facing?

Keith Beyar

Keith Beyar joined staff in 1993 and, after a few years, served internationally with his wife Lori in Central Asia and Europe for 27 years. He worked with SLM and GCM and then as the Area and Regional LDHR leader since 2014. Now living in Chicago since November 2023, he continues to serve on the Global LDHR team and loves to focus on helping leaders grow, organizational change, and 1:1 coaching. Keith enjoys bike riding, skiing, and, most recently, Pickleball.

10 thoughts on “Learning from Transitions”


    Howdy, Keith! So great to work with you on our team. We enjoyed you and Lori – working on the global New Staff Training together many years ago. Welcome to the team. I have been through many transitions and found the Monarch butterfly pictures very appropriate. We have raised several hundred of them on our back patio garden since COVID. Parts of the process from caterpillar to butterfly feel very violent to observe. But seeing a new Monarch emerge and fly off into the wild is always a joy. I hope your wings are drying and you are about to soar!

  2. We all are in the same boat for a common cause!
    His grace is sufficient for us! Let’s pray together for the best which is yet to come!


      Yes, Arockia, we have good reason to be optimistic about God’s plans for us. His word promises us that he is working for our good and the growth of his kingdom!

  3. Ce poste est exactement ce que je vis. Après avoir vécus 28 ans dans d’autres pays , j’ai senti que le prochain était le pays d’origine. Mais la transition a été rendu difficile parce que c’est beaucoup de domaines qui la traverse. Deux encore en transition. J’ai compris aussi que c’est mon attitude qui ferait la différence. Je sens que l’on a beaucoup à partager… prie pour le soutien du Seigneur pour vous dans ce processus. (French)

    Translation to English:
    This post is exactly what I’m going through. After living 28 years in other countries, I felt that the next one would be my home country. But the transition has been quite difficult because there are many areas that I need to process. I am still in transition. I also understood that it was my attitude that would make the difference. I feel we have much to share…..I pray for the Lord’s support for you in this process.

  4. “I’ve been dancing an unscripted choreography to new music playing all around the organization.” Love that line that resonates is true for me. Great 5 lessons learned, Keith, thanks for sharing! Praying for you and Lori!

  5. Seriously helpful stuff. Particularly the thing about not trying to re-establish the old normal. I think even in adjusting to post-COVID life and the world, this has been a challenge for many. Really appreciate your thinking and reflection (not to mention having that thinking and reflection on our team!)


      For those who don’t want to let go of the old (previous version of ‘normal’) till we clearly see the new normal, this is difficult. There is a leap of faith sort of move needed, some of us leap earlier, some ready to leap later, but it’s a joy to be working with people who are willing to leap sooner or later!

  6. Hello Keith 🙂 Very inspiring thoughts and lessons God has been teaching you. The timing of reading this was from the Lord! This morning, as I struggled to make a decision that would AGAIN disrupt the constancy my flesh is so yearning for… Thanks for sharing! Tomas Majer

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