The following post is the final part of a series of summer-related posts.
Today, I’ll share my reflections on the summer and what God has been teaching me.
Earlier this summer I shared how this was a new season of ministry for me. (You can read that post here.) This new season has meant a wide range of emotions for me. It’s been exciting and overwhelming at the same time. We have been busy in summer mode while also preparing for our fall kick-off in a few weeks, so we’ve been making many changes externally (physical spruce ups) and internally (policies, procedures, structure).
When families return for our fall kick-off, they’ll see walls freshly painted in bright, fun colors. They’ll see new signage directing them around our children’s area. We’re using new curriculum and aligning with a new vision, mission and overall ministry strategy. I am excited about all that God will do in the ministry this coming year and will post here what we’re doing, what’s working and what we’re working on.
But what makes me more excited is what God is doing in the life of the ministry leader – ME! All summer long, people have approached me, asking questions like, “How’s everything going?” “How are you holding up?” “Are you ready for vacation?” Things are busy, I’m still standing and I’m always ready for a vacation, especially near the water! 🙂 But really…with all of the changes that have taken place in our ministry, the most remarkable changes have been within me.
I’ve been in Children’s Ministry (professionally) for 11 years now and boy have I learned a lot during that time frame. A few weekends ago, I was sorting through some of my ministry resources and I was horrified by some of the things that I thought was my best work! Thankfully I am older, wiser and insistent on building a stronger foundation this time around by putting a few practices into place:
Without prayer and time in God’s Word, I am operating out of my own strength. Any ministry that is a product of my ideas, my energy and my plans is downright frightening. Many times I’ve gone to bed after praying for solutions/insight into things and literally would be awakened during the middle of the night with a God-given idea. (I talked about one particular incident here.)
Start with the basics. Clarify vision, mission, core values, ministry strategy, job descriptions – all of the things upon which a successful ministry is built on. With God’s guidance, building the basics now will benefit us greatly down the road.
Build strong teams and delegate. Loosen my own grip because it doesn’t belong to me. My primary role as a leader is to equip others to do the work. This will free me up to do the things that only I can do. This is very hard for me to do sometimes but I must for the sake of the ministry and my own sanity.
Get out of the office and invest in relationships with those I lead. One of the favorite part of my job has always been getting to know people I serve with. I believe that these relationships strengthen our ministry in a very unique way.
Set boundaries. Protect family time. Call it quits at a decent hour. Talk about things other than ministry. Make time for fun. This will make me a happier, healthier leader.
Sometimes the changes you see on the outside are no where as big as the changes on the inside! I pray that the work that God is doing in me will have biggest positive impact on those I serve.
Are you living your life in a way that allows God to transform you from the inside out?