20 lessons learned in 20 years (part 2)
(read part 1 here.)
some of the most effective ministry lessons are learned from mistakes and in-the-trenches ministry experiences. if you are new in ministry here are some tips from someone with 20 full-time years of kids ministry experience to help you avoid pitfalls and burnout in ministry.
11 – network
– if you leave a conference without a minimum of five other names, email addresses, and business cards, you weren’t trying.
– we are all on the same team. why are we not sharing ideas, solutions, struggles, prayer requests, praises, etc?
***make it a goal to leave your next conference with at least five new names and contact info. then make it a priority to connect with them when you return home.
12 – be mentored and mentor
– who has gone ahead of you that is speaking truth into you?
– who is behind you that you need to encourage and challenge?
*** do you have someone in your life whom you have given permission to call you out on sin, encourage your spiritual growth, and cheer you on?
*** who is praying for you and who in ministry are you praying for?
13 – safe place to vent
– find a safe person outside your office and church to vent to in confidence.
– get emotion out in a safe place so you don’t bring it to the meeting.
– let it out, then let it go!
14 – don’t break policy just to please
– if it is important enough to make into a policy, it is important enough to apply it.
– policy protects the whole, pleasing often satisfies a few.
*** are there polices you have that serve no real purpose?
15 – keep mouth shut
– confidentiality in ministry is a must.
– don’t have meetings after meetings. if you need to say it, say it in the meeting.
– no triangulation – talk to the person you have a problem with, not a third party.
16 – silos don’t make teams
– God’s truths deserve our age group collaboration.
– in age group ministries, we have to work together to help develop and support a Christ-centered 18-year-old.
*** where in your ministry team are there barriers and resistance to teamwork?
17 – be who God called and gifted you to be
– you are who you are and where you are because God created you and put you there.
– quit trying to be another ministry leader or ministry. be who God created you to be.
– comparison steals joy.
18 – grow in the valley
– some of your hardest ministry moments are your best teachers.
– give yourself grace from failures, so you can grow.
– allow conflict to build character so you don’t get stuck in the valley.
*** where have you seen God in a ministry valley?
19 – yield to and leave room for the Holy Spirit
– you can’t program every moment. allow room for God to show up.
– sometimes unplanned interruptions make an eternal impact
*** when is the last time you made room for and experienced a Holy Spirit interruption?
20 – humility goes a long way
– you don’t have to pretend to have all the answers. some people just want you to listen.
– if you can’t clean a toilet with no one watching, are you really ready to serve?
– get beyond yourself, so people remember Jesus and not you.