I had a conversation with a pastor friend of mine who is looking to change something major in his ministry. This is not a change the stage design or anything, this is like a change the DNA of how his ministry operates type thing. We were able to chat about some exciting things and we talked about abut all of these things about how to move forward and proceed on a big decision.
Chances are, you are wanting to change something in your ministry. If you are anything like me, you want things to keep growing and moving and change has the power to do this. There is also a way to do it correctly and respectfully. Here are the things my friend and I talked about doing before a big change:
- Pray – We don’t want to go somewhere where God is not leading us. Otherwise, it’s not going to last. Before any move, we need to go before God, lay out in front of Him where you think you should be going. I’m not going to lie, there have been times in which I have been tempted just to move without going to God because I want to move now, but my wife (who I’m convinced the Holy Spirit speaks through her to me most times) always asks the question, “Did you prayerfully consider this?” It’s a step we can’t afford to miss.
- Write it out – Write out the plan. I find when you are able to articulate what is in your head, it will help you be clearer when you cast the vision. People will have a hard time getting behind you when you are stumbling through your own vision of where you want to go. When you write it out, it forces you to narrow down your thoughts and helps you from being scattered. When you do this, it also helps you be clear, concise, and gives you a good direction; all of which you need in order to cast a clear vision.
- Get input from people you trust – Seek advice from people outside of your circle who have maybe done what your wanting to do. You can hear what they did well, what they would have changed, what worked, what didn’t. When I do this, it is amazing what comes up from the wisdom of those on the outside who have a fresh set of eyes looking at something you have been staring at for hours at a time. Seek advice, take some of it, adjust what you have previously written down.
- Get input from people within your ministry – Who better than speak into the ministry and where it is going than people who are the boots on the ground helping carry out the vision? Get input from some key volunteers, key students, your supervisor to make sure you are in line with the church as whole. Cast the vision, sit back, take notes and listen. A good leader just takes notes, a great leader listens and engages. Take all of this, write it down and make adjustments, bring it back to the people you trust, then go before God again.
- Move slowly, but strongly – Once you have a direction and you are confident in it. Move slowly. Remember, you have been thinking about this, dreaming of this, praying about this for months, most of the people going to be effected are just hearing all of this. Move slowly and gracefully but stay strong to your conviction, your vision and push forward. Moving forward can be painful, but it’s always worth it.