"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." John Maxwell
I am stepping into a brand new (to me) Interim Children's Pastor position. I have my first two meetings tonight and we kick off the kids summer midweek program as well. I've been thinking about some of the things I may have to work through as I head in tonight. This is a period of change for the people of the church and change, to most people stinks. Here are 5 things I want to be mindful of.
Changing of the Guard: Never easy. The Children's Pastor had been in this church ten and a half years. There are loyalties. I won't ask anyone to forget the impact his ministry has had upon the church, but will, celebrate him and the accomplishments that he has, together with this team of volunteers, made for the Kingdom. There will be some who may not like me or what I do simply because I'm not the other guy! I can be understanding of that and not let it defeat me.
Trust: Though I have been in ministry many years, to these people I may as well still be wet behind the ears. I've not ministered alongside them yet. I've not been able to lead effectively. I've not shared their burdens and trials or prayed for them while in the trenches yet. I cannot demand their trust. I will slowly minister and be found "faithful in the small things" (Luke 16:10) and pray that they are able to slowly trust me and my ability to lead.
Environment: Every ministry situation is unique. I realize that it will take me a bit to learn the culture here. I need to learn the people and their passions as well as ministry dreams and visions.
Servant Ministry: In order to really allow trust to develop between the church people and myself, I have to demonstrate servant leadership. I am not above anything. I am willing to get in the trenches with them and do hands on ministry. I want to model for them what a true servant looks like.
Get Personal: Perhaps one of the biggest things I can do out of the gate is get to know people personally. Get to know their names, their stories, and their areas of giftedness. In the words of John Maxwell, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."
I'll enjoy the honeymoon phase that always comes along with new ministry positions. As I do so, I will remember these five things and pray that God is glorified by my service, once again.
How about you? What sorts of things would you tell someone just stepping into a new ministry position?