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5 tips for the first month in a new ministry role.

Tis’ the season for ministry transitions!  This week we’re talking about dealing with ministry staff transitions.  We’ll be looking at how to make the most of these points of change within your ministry.

So . . . you’ve started a new ministry role.  Maybe it’s your first ministry role right out of your college . . . or maybe you are transitioning in from the marketplace . . . or even if you are moving on from another church . . . have you thought through what your first steps should be?  Here are five things I’d love to see in staff as they transition onto the teams that I’m a part of:

  • Consume Content // Churches are content creation machines . . . you need to get up to speed quickly on what the church has been talking about.  It will give you a reference point in conversation and will show that you are a part of the team.  Listen to one podcast a day for the first month.  Start with the most recent messages and work backwards.
  • Foster Friendships // Take time to get to know your new team members.  If you have given a team of staff or volunteers . . . relate before you delegate.  Take time to understand who people are before you evaluate what people can do.  The relationships you build in this first month will serve the ministry well in the months and years to come!
  • Work Hard // Set an unsustainable pace for your first 30 days.  You only get to do the first things first . . . do them super well.  Start work earlier than you normally would and then stay later.  Most ministries are understaffed and there will be a pile of things for you pay attention to . . . so get at it!  You can worry about life balance later . . . start with working harder than normal.
  • Ask About Wins // On your first day with your supervisor . . . ask them what they want done in the first 30 days . . . make sure you get goals that you can measure if they have been achieved or not. Take really good notes when they talk.  Once you know what they are looking for make sure to focus on these “big wins” every day for the first month.  (I mean every day . . . see my last point.)  
  • Lead with Questions, Not Answers // Chances are you’ve been brought into this new role because the ministry values your input on the team.  They think you’re pretty amazing.  Now that you are on the team . . . it’s time for you to learn from the team that’s already there.  Don’t make any conclusions or statements for at least one month. Ask questions. Inquire. Wonder.  
What about you?  What would you say to team members as they start in your ministry? [Take a minute and leave your advice now in our comments!]

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