Transition happens to all of us. Here are four things that you have to do when you arrive at your new Church.
When you transition from one student ministry to the next, you will see so many things that need to change. That is great but you can’t change everything at once.
I read a very good book one time that had a phrase that went something like this “The steps of the righteous man are ordered of the Lord.” If you notice, the scriptures do not say the leaps of a righteous man are ordered of the Lord. God orders and ordains our steps … not our leaps.
Coming into town and trying to tackle, facility, recruiting, outreach, discipleship, small groups and team building all at the same time would not be a step – that would be a very large leap. Because of this you have decide to accomplish His vision for your ministry one step at a time.
Four things you need to do when arriving at your new Church.
Step One - Take care of your family.
The first thing to do when arriving at a new church, is not to change the youth group name, start a new ministry, or take the leadership on a retreat. The first thing to do in starting this new journey is to take care of your family. How is your spouse handling the transition away from family, friends, work and the home you left behind? How are your kids doing emotionally? It is far to easy to say, "Oh kids are tough, they will adjust easily". But the truth of the matter is, moving is tough on adults, let alone a 13 year old. In this transition, make your family your first priority. Give you spouse and children room to grow into the change.
Step Two – Build relationship with students.
When you first arrive, you will be so excited to get to know all of the students in your new family at the Church. However, they don’t have a clue who you are, what you are like or if they can even trust you. They most likely have gone through several Youth Pastors and they all came in talking about how much they love them, and how God is going to do some great things in the ministry. They have heard it all before. When you first arrive don’t tell them you love them… show them! Take every opportunity during your Youth Services, weekend venues, off day trips, ball games, gatherings at your house and retreats to simply get to know your new friends as well as let them get to know you.
Relationship trumps everything!
Teenagers are your ministry so, build relationships with your students and you will be building your ministry!
Step Three – Build relationship with parents.
You have to begin to look at everything through the eyes of the parents. You have some incredible families at your new Church. So take some time to establish trust, build friendship, as well as cast the vision of where you are taking the student ministry and inviting parents to bring their teenager along for the journey.
Talk to parents in the halls of the Church. Set up times to grab a coffee. Go to one of their Children’s games, sit on the bleachers and just get to know them. Other than your relationship with your Senior Pastor, your relationship with Parents is the most important relationship in your ministry, so be authentic, be real, be a servant and get to know them. When you do, they will love you! When they love you, they will make their teenagers come to your meetings!
Step Four – Build the team.
Nothing can be done alone. In order for you to do what God is calling you to do, you must build an incredible team. When my family and I transitioned to a new church a few years ago, we had an amazing summer planned. We also had a brand new launch coming up in the fall, so we took 13 weeks of the Summer to not only cast vision, but to recruit, train, and release new workers into the roles they were going to play at Student Ministry in the fall.
We arrived at the new Church at the end of May. We took time to build relationships with teenagers, build relationships with parents, we recruited and trained 70 new volunteers and in 13 weeks the student ministry went from 40 students at our first service to 395 when we launched in the fall.
When Jesus came to the earth, He did not come to promote or push a program, He came to the earth to help people. It is the same with each us us. God did not call us where we are to promote or push some program! He called us to live and to love His people.
Build HIS people and HE will build HIS church!
If you want to find out more ways to grow, and build your team, be sure to check out Youth Ministry University. Click (HERE) to find out more.