Sunday, September 05, 2010

Journey of starting a new ministry - week 7

(Over the next few months, maybe longer, I will be writing weekly posts on my journey of starting a new youth ministry position. The focus will be on general tips and suggestions for any youth minister starting a new position, but I will add-in moments specific to my situation. My goal is to offer advice to help other youth ministers and not write an online journal of my own personal experiences. In order to make this series of articles as beneficial as I can, I would appreciate your feedback and thoughts. And remember as you read about my journey in a new youth ministry that every situation is different; therefore, these ideas are just ideas and suggestions. You need to know your church culture and adjust your week-by-week to fit those needs.)
By week 7, you will probably be into a routine. You will be more comfortable on Sunday mornings at this point, knowing more of what to expect each week. Your work week is becoming much more of a routine (that is unless you have done 2 weeks of camp and a VBS). You might even be starting to implement a few more changes into the ministry or at least working on helping people adjust to a different perspective.

But, despite things going so well, there are still things to keep in mind. First thing to keep in mind is to act like you’re still new. Even though you are starting to feel more “at home” in your new ministry, you have to remember you are still a newbie. You are still in the honeymoon phase and most people still think you are doing amazing things, even if you are not doing anything special. Do not let this lead you to believe you really know what you are doing. At 7 weeks, you probably do not have a very good grasp on the culture of your congregation, you probably do not know people well enough to know who to ask about volunteering. Make sure you continue to spend time getting to know the people and the congregation. Keep seeing things through a visitor’s eyes.

The second thing you need to remember is to value the other staff members’ time. Over the last few weeks, you have probably spent more time in offices or just “peeking in.” You might have even gotten in the habit of interrupting another staff member to ask a question, because you know they don’t mind. Or at least, that is what they told you. They probably did not mind, but you cannot keep interrupting them. Their time is valuable, just like your time is. If you have not already, start using email to ask questions that do not have to be answered immediately. And if there is something that needs more than email, set up a time to talk - do not just drop in.

As you continue to integrate into the ministry staff, spend time contemplating what you are adding and subtracting to the overall ministry. What do you need to do differently? How can you help the other staff?

Week 7 Bulletpoints:
- Use email to communicate with other staff
- See everything with fresh (visitor’s) eyes
- Share your passion with somebody

Goals of the near future:
- pray more for other staff members
- track and maintain better student information

Previous weekly perspectives: week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, week 5, week 6
Previous monthly perspectives: month 1(part 1), month 1(part 2)

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