August 31st marked my third year at Greenwood Christian Church. This wasn’t my first ministry, but it was my first church ministry. I thought I’d spend some time reflecting on the past three years.
Here are some things I’ve learned:
1. One leadership style isn’t effective for everyone. We’ve got to be willing to change it up depending on the person.
2. Form a parent leadership team. Ministry staff alone can’t be your only sounding board.
3. Over communicate. When you think you have, communicate more.
4. Gentleness and grace should be evident to all (Philippians 4).
5. Ask one or two trusted people to critique your messages. Other than that…don’t ask. People can wear you down.
6. When you make a decision, explain why you made that decision. Don’t assume people automatically understand. This builds trust.
7. Don’t get involved in staff/church drama. Focus on what God’s called you to do and pray everyone else does too!
8. Sarcasm hurts. It’s not funny because someone is always the butt of your joke.
9. Address conflict right away. Don’t let things linger.
10. Let people know that God is working in your ministry. We assume people know this, but sometimes they don’t.
11. Don’t focus on numbers. They will always change. Focus on being true to your calling and making Jesus famous.
12. Pray against pride. Pride is one of your biggest enemies! Just say you’re sorry!
13. Look back only to learn not compare. God is always moving forward in fresh ways.
14. Limit drinks on 14+ hour trips. It’ll save you a bunch of time! 😉
15. Thank your volunteers a lot!
16. Preach about the hard things in life and how Jesus overcomes. This means that you need to talk about homosexuality, boundaries, and other things we don’t want to address.
17. When the world attends your ministry, praise God! That means God is sending people your way.
18. Regularly pray for other student ministries to succeed. Your group won’t fit everyone. Think Kingdom, not kingdom.
19. Don’t waste time in the office. Use it to learn, lead, and pour into people.
20. Live unconditional love.
God is still teaching me things all the time. He know that without his constant presence I’d totally screw things up!
Aside from this list, the biggest things I’ve learned are to put family above the ministry and don’t forget to focus on your own spiritual well-being.