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What should new youth pastors try to do when they take on a ministry position? This won’t be a popular answer, but you should do nothing. Well, almost nothing.
I was recently at a conference where I overheard a new youth worker tell another youth worker that she was struggling in her brand-new position. The second youth worker’s advice was ‘change as much as you can as quickly as you can.’ I felt like banging my head against the wall…or I felt like banging someone’s head against the wall anyway.
Reasons - Workers - Traction - Positions - Superman
One of the main reasons that youth workers don’t find traction in new positions is that they fly in like superman with brand-spanking new shiny ideas and a completely out-of-context, duck-out-of-water leadership style to boot. Whereas some will see this as a novelty and will try to get behind it, most will treat the over-excited new guy with a healthy level of skepticism.
So slow down puppy.
Months - Build - Credibility - CV - Trustworthiness
For your first few months you need to build. Build credibility (no your CV did not do that), build trustworthiness, build respect, build confidence and—of course—build relationships. You’re also building up information and research, so the actual changes you’ll make later will sit on something much more like solid ground.
So, here’s my short list of what you should do in your first three months instead:
Ministry - Project - Church - Ministry - Runs
Go to each ministry project that the church or ministry runs. Visit all the homegroups and services. Attend training and meetings. Don’t get stuck into serving, just watch. Watch, look, listen and take notes. You’re trying to breathe the culture in, put your finger on the pulse and find the heart (or hearts) of the ministry. Don’t waste this time...
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