Transition Minsitry, pt. 2
Last August, I wrote a post on Transition Ministry when our student minister was heading to a new calling in Columbus, OH. We now have called a new student minister to Vero Christian Church: Nate Wilkerson. As Nate, his wife Dawn, and their two beautiful kids Lilly & Micah transition into this position, I want to follow up with my thoughts on transitioning into a new ministry.
For us as the church welcoming a new staff member, we need to remember the following:
*Comparisons between the “old” and the “new” are counterproductive. Since we human beings are not simply clones, we must recognize that the new guy will do things differently than the old guy did. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Just different. Be patient and allow the new guy to put his stamp on the ministry.
*Hanging on to the old guy is counter productive. Yes, you are still friends with the old guy. Yes, you still love him and his family. No, you shouldn’t go on and on to the new guy about the old guy. Remember, he has moved on to a new position. Love him from a distance, but now is the time to learn to love the new guy.
*Support the new guy. Give him your undivided loyalty and your very best support. It’s okay to discuss with him any differences of opinion you may have, and he needs your insight into the people and programs already in place, but remember, God has called him to this position, so let him lead, and be supportive of his lead.
For the new guy coming in, please remember:
*You can’t change the ministry into the format or style you want on day one. Seek advice of those who have been there. See what is working and what isn’t working.
*Pour yourself into the volunteer staff around you. That has to be your primary time investment. Get to know them. Seek their counsel on dealing with specifics within your ministry as you transition in. let them know that you value their insight and opinions. Then, cast your vision, and lead them to accomplish that vision.
*Realize that there are some who will not make the transition with you. In student ministry, there will be some students who will cling to the past no matter what. Love them anyway.
*Invest in the people who will take the ride with you. In the case of student ministry, it is wise to invest in the middle school students and the underclassmen in high school. Folks who will be with you for several years. Not that you ignore the others, but you invest the bulk of your time with the younger crew, the ones who will help you make your ministry thrive.
Transition is never easy, but it can be fun. Accentuate the positive. Dream big. Share that dream. Invest in those who will help you accomplish those dreams, and don’t fret over those who won’t.
I am excited about the transition we are currently undergoing at VCC. Please join me in praying for our new student minister, for our students and children and parents and, well all of us!