I’m sure you’ve heard it said that we’re more likely to remember bad things than good. But did you know that researchers have actually found that what the older people they interviewed remembered most were their FIRSTS… one of their first teachers, or their first favorite toy, their first date or their first car. Our first experiences can make a lasting impression that we can still recall years later.
I’ve been thinking about my own “firsts” lately as I’ve been helping another leader transition into a new ministry job. Ironically, what I’ve noticed helps the most is my being able to remember and identify with the things in the beginning that make you feel so alone and overwhelmed. My survival reminds her that she’s not the only one to ever feel this way and proves that it can feel different in just a few months time.
I’ll never forget– I started my first official ministry job on Memorial Day weekend. (That was my first mistake- to start on a holiday. Be advised.) There was a mass exodus of leaders, leaving me just 3 volunteers for the rest of the summer. I also remember that my daughter turned one that week– so I was cooking and baking, then decorating the backyard for her first birthday party when my husband decided to lighten the mood by spraying me with the water hose. Through a mix of tears and crazy laughter, dripping wet, I wondered what in the world I was doing and if it was even worth it!
Maybe you’re new to ministry or to the Orange philosophy of trying to partner with parents to reach the next generation. I bet you’re experiencing a whole lot of “firsts” as you try and figure it all out. Or maybe you’ve been leading for several seasons now. I bet you still remember some of your ministry “firsts”, so you could encourage someone else just starting. What “firsts” stand out in your mind?