Every been on a ministry honeymoon? Most of us have.
Sometimes they can last 6 months or a year. Sometimes longer.
Sometimes you never really get one.
But we all know what they are… and Sam Rainer has some tips on how to enjoy and prolong them:
Sam Rainer writes:
Learn to love the people. Some people in the church are easy to love. For others, it takes a little more time and spiritual commitment. But all the people need to see their leadership as loving. It does not matter what leadership role you play in an organization or ministry, followers like to know who is leading them. Learning the people takes a lot more time on the front end, but this process is invaluable in the long term. Big, transformational changes are much easier if you know people’s stories.
Celebrate little victories. In a time of transition, don’t jump into unnecessary major changes. Start your tenure by pointing out small victories. Vocalizing the successes of others not only builds people up, it reinforces expectations in a positive way.
Don’t be afraid to point out some of your idiosyncrasies. Everyone has foibles. And people pick up on them quickly. Show levity by admitting them to others in a tactful way. If you tend to ramble, then tell people, ‘I like to think out loud.’ Communication will be easier earlier if leaders recognize their own quirks.
Maintain a long-term mindset. A long-term mindset is critical to lead any group of people. Organizations are complex organisms that cannot be digested all at once. A lack of a long-term commitment will squelch any potential for a leader to act in a transformational capacity.
Get to know the community. You cannot lead a church without knowing the church. Additionally, you cannot lead a church to reach the community unless you know the community. One of the best windows of opportunity to talk with community leaders is during the honeymoon. And one way to make an immediate impact is to ask them about their biggest needs.
Enjoy it. Perhaps the quickest snare to trip is stress. If you maintain a long-term outlook, some of the early stresses (which always seem smaller in hindsight) are moderated. Therefore, enjoy loving the people. Enjoy the lack of complaints. Enjoy your community. And enjoy the privilege to serve the Creator of the universe.