I look with fondness upon those years in ministry. I laugh at my own naive and idealistic approach to ministry. If I were to begin ministry all over in a new setting, here are the things I'd do differently.....
1) I'd minister to families rather than just children. Because my role was "Children's Pastor" I focused upon the children. Everything we offered was centered upon the children. If I were granted a "do over" I would intentionally develop the parents as well. Conversations regarding faith matters are not happening at home. What can I do to equip and empower parents to pursue faith conversations at home? What can I do to challenge parents to grow in their own faith? I would intentionally allow parents to see me as their biggest cheerleader.
2) I'd focus upon building teams immediately. Because I didn't know any better, I approached ministry as a Lone Ranger. After time, ministry wasn't much fun. I think that part of me was trying to prove that I was capable of handling the situation and didn't need a team around me. As years continued, and my approach to ministry changed, I developed solid teams that did life together. Ministry became way more fun. We were able to truly reflect what the Body of Christ is all about. I don't recommend solo ministry!
3) I'd intentionally develop more leaders. I've become a huge believer in duplication. I want to constantly be duplicating myself in ministry. I see great power in challenging others to train up their own replacements in ministry. I don't want to spend the bulk of my time recruiting. I want to spend it in developing leaders who, in turn, will duplicate themselves through hands on ministry. Creating a team of leaders who leads others helps me multiply the effects of my ministry much faster.
How about you? If you had a ministry "do over" what would you do differently this time around?