Starting a job often feels like New Year’s Day. It’s a new beginning and offers fresh ambition to become the person you so desire.
A New Year and a new job not only holds hopeful expectations, but they both require planning and goal setting to reach that desired outcome. Without a clear path and an outlined way to get there, you are setting yourself up for setbacks or possible failure.
A job in ministry is no different. Some would argue it is even more important to understand what to do before starting a job within a church.
If you want to be successful in any church position, here are four things you should do.
1. Root Yourself in Scripture and Prayer
Rooting yourself in truth and prayer is number one on our list for a reason. It is the most important key to being successful in any aspect of your life.
If you feel God is calling you to ministry, learn what the Bible says and pray for wisdom. This will not only help you as you seek a new position, but it will provide an invaluable foundation once you begin a job within the church.
2. Research, Research, Research
Not only should you pray for wisdom regarding a position within the church, but you should also seek understanding if a particular church is right for you. Do your research and ask questions.
Is this the right church for you? Does your theology align? Why is this position open?
Talk to individuals in leadership, those who volunteer, and members to learn as much of the church’s history as possible.
Related: How to Navigate Transitions in Ministry
3. Understand You are Entering an Established Community and Family
Any time you enter an established church, you are entering a family. They have beliefs and expectations, traditions, and customs that can often be firmly grounded in who they are.
Don’t come in with an expectation to change it all, even if there are things that need improvement. Some experts suggest not making any major changes for at least a year.
However, you also don’t want to come in shy and unsure if you should push the envelope to make suggestions or improvements. Find the balance and what works for you and the church’s people.
Want help getting started in a new role? Orange Coaching can help you make the transition better for you, the team, and the church.
4. Be Prepared to Disappoint Some People
You can’t please everyone. You will see this saying holds just as much truth in ministry as any other corporation in the world.
Whether or not you are coming into this position on good terms, all church members will react differently. Some individuals are more flexible and are ok with change. Some are just hard to please no matter what you do or say. Some take a wait-and-see approach to change. And yes, there will be some who don’t want to embrace the new direction and decide to leave.
It’s up to you to understand and hear what the church expects. Know how to minister to those around you. Ministry is hard work. The pressure is great to please all people at all times and to be everything to everyone. No one human being can shoulder the weight of that.
Working in ministry can be one of the most rewarding jobs. You have an opportunity to help people experience the soul-saving love of Jesus. Being prepared by rooting yourself in Scripture, researching the church, learning about the church family, and having realistic expectations will set you up for success.
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