So this is my first week not in my former position, but it does not mean I am not working. I don’t begin my new position for a few weeks and I am definitely going to take advantage of it by taking my wife on vacation, but until then, I have been and am going to be hanging out with my supervisor and future team of people to get a run down on the current state and feel of ministry. There will be a time to turn off, which I’m planning on doing, but I also want to be prepared (somewhat) for this new position that I will be taking over. As I have been thinking through the meetings I have had already and the ones I know I’m going to continue to have, I have been processing the following:
Ask Questions – I have been meeting with some great people from my circle who have been leading for a long time and have been picking their brains about certain things regarding the new position. The last thing I ever want to do is assume I know what I’m doing at all times. We can all be learning something from someone and I have been asking leadership questions from some great leaders whom I know and love.
Ask More Questions – I have been meeting and hanging out with the executive pastor who I will be reporting to. He is a great leader with a great heart who cares for the ministry. We went to lunch and I got to ask him a ton of questions about the ministry, the good things and the things that need improvement. I asked about expectations, office hours, performance expectations, where do they want to see the ministry in 5 years? Question after question after question. I figure, the more I know coming in, the more I can prepare myself to make decisions and be effective right away.
Learn How To Ask Good Questions – Don’t just ask to ask. Be intentional with who you are asking and what are you asking. I want to see where volunteers are at so I ask them certain questions in certain ways. You want to see where students are at so you ask them certain questions. There is nothing better to help prepare for a new spot than asking the right questions. Learn how to do this and you will be walking in more confident.
Listen – Instead of thinking about the next question or meeting, actually listen. Staff, volunteers and students want to feel like they are being heard. When we ask questions we allow them to voice what they are feeling. Wrong or right, how they are feeling is real. So lean into that, listen, and adjust when necessary. One of the best things a leader can do coming into a new spot is be a great listener and slow to respond. Gather information, pray about it, discern and you will be able to take action when you need to when you come in being caught up on the ministry instead of coming in cold.