I’m currently 18 months into my second try at a NextGen role. So far, everything is going really well. I’ve not experienced any surprises, but I’m learning new stuff every day. I’m seeing wins at a much faster pace than the first time in the role and I truly believe it’s because I’m focusing on the right things this time around. In case you haven’t read the posts, I’ve found five important things to focus on in your first year as a NextGen Pastor.
You can hear me discuss these five things on Nick Blevin’s Family Ministry Podcast.
Hopefully, these things will help you find success in your first year or two. However, I want to leave you with a final thought.
Be confident in what you know. You’re in this position for a reason. Your knowledge, skills, and experience got you to where you are. You may have staff who question you at every decision and don’t understand what you’re trying to build. Lead boldly. Push the limits and build something amazing.
However, I will caution you. You may have already seen what you’re trying to build, you might have already built it before. Resist the urge to simply copy what you’ve done before and install it in your new ministry. Where you’re at now isn’t where you were before. You took a journey in your previous role that eventually led to what you created. Your team walked that journey with you and what you built was the fruit of multiple decisions, sacrifice and hard work. The process is almost as important as the end result. We may have a tendency to short circuit the process the second time around.
Why reinvent the wheel?
Why waste time and resources?
Why not just jumpstart what you know will work?
As logical as these reasons all sound, it’s not always the right choice. Your new team needs to take the journey too. They’ll never appreciate it if they didn’t have a part in shaping it. They want to build too.
Far to often, inherited staff begin to resent the “new guys” previous experience. They constantly hear about how it was done at that other church. They watch the things they built get replaced by the things you used to do. Even if what is new is better, it can feel terrible. Staff will be reluctant to accept it. Staff may become frustrated and resentful and the culture may become toxic.
The solution? Just slow down a little. Take your idea to the team and invite them to build it with you. Chances are, you can build it better the second time around. You’ll see things you didn’t see before and you have fresh eyes. Your inherited staff will know your new ministry better than you, understanding what might work differently. When you rebuild that thing you’ve done before, but with your new team, you’ve allowed them to take the journey. It will be better than if you had simply copied what you had done before.