Today my church extended a call to Shannon Meadors to be our new Preschool and Children’s Minister. I am so excited! We’ve been praying for Shannon for almost 2 year (we didn’t know her name… but we’ve been praying for God to send the right person to First Baptist Nashville and we believe he has).
This started me wondering, “What can I do to help Shannon have a successful launch into the ministry of my church? What are some things that would be helpful to her as she and her family move to Nashville, join our fellowship, and begin what we all hope to be a long and fruitful ministry?”
What do you think?
What are some things that have helped you when you’ve transitioned into new a new ministry? What do you wish someone (or the church) would have done for you when you began?
Bottom Line: What are your recommendations for a smooth launch/transition into a new Preschool/Children’s Ministry?
PS: I’ll post a compilation of the responses on a future post.
Congrats, Shannon and FBC!
When I transitioned into my children’s ministry role, I made appointments during the first few weeks to meet with each key leader in the ministry individually! I asked them their ideas on what was going great in the ministry and what needed help the most. This really built relationships that would be crucial down the road, and also built some great trust with them. As the new leader, it helped me get a great sense of where our team needed to be led.
The biggest thing I needed in my transition was true friendship. There are so many people that were very kind to me in the beginning but I soon found out they were just trying to secure a position with me. They would be near and dear on Sunday’s and then I wouldn’t hear a word during the week. I think that sometimes church members assume you don’t need anything because you are a staff member and you have it all together. Transition can be a very lonely time – saying goodbye to the familiar and secure, then hello to the new. My prayers are with Shannon and First Nashville. I know of one great children’s director who is there ;o)
I found it most helpful in beginning a new ministry to meet and get to know the leadership serving the children and preschoolers. We arranged a lunch meeting soon after arriving here and had the chance to meet the Sunday School teachers, hear their hearts, find out their experience and knowledge which greatly helped me know with whom I was serving. This also provided those same teachers a way to get to know me and grasp hold of my vision and dreams for the shared ministry with them.
Getting a map of places and areas of town was helpful to me as well.
It was helpful to me coming into a new church to know how the ministry that I was leading had been running in the past, a clear presentation of “this is what we have been doing”. And then, to know upfront, what elements of that ministry could be changed, or if some elements were expected to be retained. For example, curriculum, worship style, order of service, etc. It’s nice to know upfront how much freedom you have to make changes, even though those changes may come gradually over the first few weeks of the new position.
Thanks, Meredith… I agree. Making sure that you touch the key leaders is going to make a big difference when you join a new ministry.
Cindy, you are so right. At the end of the day friendship is going to get you through. New staff members often long for friendships… we’ll have to work on that with Shannon!
There’s something special about sharing a meal with someone, isn’t there Karen? It just makes it more personal… not all business… I really care. The map suggestion is a great one, too… I’ll make sure to get that for Shannon.
Barbara… that’s a great suggestion. Traditions are so important and a part of who our churches are. Helping a new minister to know what’s is “sacred” and what is “fair game” will be important. Some things that need to change require investment or “chips earned.” You need to make sure they know they can trust you before you start messing with their favorite things! Thanks for your thoughts.
These ideas are great. Some I knew and needed to be reminded of… others I hadn’t considered. Keep ’em coming!
My wife and I are volunteer missionaries working at the IMB Brackenhurst confereenter for 6 months. We are also working with local churches on the weekends. There is a great church with 300 children that needs bible study & worship leaders materials. Such as Bible Teaching for Kids and Worship Kidstyle materials, or Anytime Anywhere. Does anyone have any such used resources they would be willing to send to Nairobi, Kenya? This church would like to become a center for teaching other smaller churches how to effectively teach their children. The opportunity is unbelievable!! They need a partner church to help them out.