10 Steps to Success in the First 6 Months in a New Ministry Position: Part 2
Let's be honest for a second, it's crazy when you start a new ministry position. I have been in my current position for about a month now and balancing all the meetings and the long to-do list can be exhausting. Hopefully you were able to read Part 1, and it has already helped you out. If not, go back and read that post before reading this one. It will make a lot more sense.
5 More Steps to Success:
6. Meet with the Important Players
All of us have important players in our ministries. Figure out who they are, and meet with them. In kid's ministry, the important players are the parents and volunteers in your ministry. My suggestion is to set up an initial volunteer gathering and parent gathering where they can bring their questions. Try to schedule a time that will be convenient for most people. Make sure you let people know about your gatherings a few weeks in advance, and ask for an RSVP so you can feed them lunch (don't forget their kids). My lead pastor let me announce it in the adult service a couple weeks in advance myself. Try to set it up during the first month you are at the church, and share your personal story, heart for ministry, and vision for the ministry going forward. Don't forget to open up the floor for questions, comments and concerns. You want these gatherings to be more of a dialogue than a monologue. I just had my first volunteer gathering last Sunday, and I have my parent gathering planned for this coming Sunday. The volunteer gathering was very well attended, and I was able to make valuable connections with volunteers. Upfront, I asked for honesty, and as a result, I got a lot of great feedback and questions. A couple of tips: always feed them and keep it brief.
7. Build Relationships
Don't stop at these initial gatherings. Start setting up personal meetings for coffee or lunch with key volunteers and parents. I know you're busy, believe me, but these meetings are just as important. Don't skip them. Ministries are built on volunteers and a solid team is essential. A volunteer is far less likely to quit on you if you have a personal relationship with them.
8. Figure Out What Works and What Doesn't
A good way to figure this out is by talking to key volunteers and parents, as well as other staff members at the church. They have been there longer than you, and have seen the events and ministries that have happened over the last few years. Their perspective is so valuable as you begin planning events and services. It's probably not going to go very well if you get rid of things that people love or things that are still working. Some of those things may need to go at some point, but not until you get more established in your position.
9. Clean and Organize Everything
I am right in the middle of cleaning and organizing the kid's ministry storage area. It's a lot of work, but totally worth it. When you clean and organize your ministry areas and office it gives everything a fresh and new feeling that people will notice. Also, it is great for assessing the supplies and resources you already have on hand. If you find a super cluttered storage closet/area chances are you will find all kinds of things that no one knew you had. Turn it into a treasure hunt, and have some fun with it. Don't forget to label EVERYTHING so the clutter doesn't start to pile up again because no one knows where things belong.
10. Pray a lot (and find others to pray for you)
This one should go without saying, but let's be honest, sometimes we forget this very important step. I have made it one of my goals in 2016 to pray a lot more. Another kid's pastor suggested that I find a group of people at the church willing to be prayer partners with me for the ministry. How much better would it be to have a whole group of people praying with you and for your ministry instead of just you? I love this idea, and I will definitely be looking for group of prayer partners.
My hope is that these 10 steps will help you if you are in the same position, or maybe the next time you step into a new ministry position. Are there any steps I'm missing? What is the hardest part of starting a new ministry position in your experience?