How To Start Well & Earn The Trust Of Church Leadership
By: Vanderbloemen May 22, 2013
You got the job, have packed up your things for the big move, and are anxious and excited about your first day that is quickly approaching at your new ministry position.
There are a few things that you can do to make sure that you arrive prepared on the first day of work and ensure that you can hit the ground running in the right direction.
Remember that regardless of how much experience you may have, starting well is critical for earning the respect of your team, which will improve your overall effectiveness and efficiency.
So how do you do that?
You will want to make sure that you have the right mindset, are looking forward to the challenges ahead of you, gather key details, and start building an atmosphere of trust by being relational.
1. Mindset: The right mindset is critical to approaching any new challenge, especially a new ministry position. Take time to familiarize yourself with the church, its history, and key staff members. This will allow you to show that you care about the church leadership that is already in place and display your willingness to learn about how they operate. Build a list of questions that you want to know the answer to before your first day, such as appropriate attire, where you need to arrive, and who you’ll be meeting with first. This will help keep you from feeling lost and will communicate to the church leadership that you are ready to hit the ground running.
2. First Impressions: Take a second to think about the fact that your first few days are going to be when you will be making a lot of first impressions. You’ll be making first impressions on the church leadership above you, your team members, and the team you organize and administer. To avoid the impression of living in the past, avoid talking about your old church too much. It makes you look like the teenager who can’t get over the last person that they dated when they just started dating someone new.
3. Listen: Make sure that you listen more than you speak. Ask clarifying questions that show you’re paying attention to what they are saying. Take the time to figure out what their definition of success for your new ministry position is, as well as success for the church as a whole. It is your responsibility to understand where the church is going and how it wants to get there.
4. Relationships: Though talking about the job at hand and goals that the church leadership has for your new ministry position is critical to you starting well, there also needs to be a well-balanced amount of relational investment taking place. Be intentional in trying to get to know people all around you in your new environment. Learn about their families, their passions, and about what makes them who they are. Just like any good relationship, the first thing that comes is getting to know each other and finding out what makes the other person tick. By doing this, you’ll be able to learn more about the staff’s culture, start building trust, and show them that you care.
Use these tools and ideas to set a course for how you approach your new job, and try your best to be as prepared as possible. Go ahead and take a deep breath, and get ready to see how God is going to use you in your new ministry position. Let your excitement fuel you to do the best job you can, and trust in Him to take care of the rest.
What advice do you have for pastors starting a new ministry position?