It is amazing to me that is has been a year since I left the Saddleback HSM team (Josh still cries about it) and took the Lead Next-Gen Pastor roll here at CCV. It has been an incredible journey so far and I can say I honestly love it. I feel like I have grown so much in the past year in ways that couldn’t have come from any other position. I can also say, it’s been one of the hardest things I have ever done. Leading a team, responsible for two decent size ministries, inheriting a whole group of people under my leadership and trying to move forward in our vision. All while trying to be a better husband and be a better follower of Jesus. It’s hard! But rewarding.

I thought I would share a little of my personal reflections as I have been thinking about this last year when it comes to ministry and leadership. I still have a ton to learn, when I say, “A ton”, I really mean “100 tons”, but maybe you can agree, get some insight or encouragement or add to the conversation.

  • Your vision is great, but God’s vision for your ministry is way better. This year, I never have leaned on Jesus this hard when it comes to casting vision and moving our ministry forward. I know a lot of us have a powerful vision, but if it’s not tapped into the power source, it won’t get you far. I had a month after I left Saddleback and before I started here and I would spend a few days a week praying and asking for a clear vision of where we need to go. I feel it was the best thing I could have ever done. We are rocking and rolling and having a blast.
  • Inheriting a team can be hard but not impossible. Coming in over a ministry with people who have been there for a while can be a little rocky at times but establishing trust and that you as the leader have their backs and your team knowing it, is something that must happen right when you get there. Our team has had some tough conversations but we were able to make it through them and now I feel like we have established some trust and we are now hitting stride.
  • There will be somethings your people won’t get at first until you prove you know what you are talking about. There were somethings I wanted to bring in that may not have worked in the past, and they thought I was nuts, but when the vision is clear and expectations are clear, it’s amazing what your team of volunteers can do. When something is a success, and they know how to measure that success and can see it, they will be more willing to follow you on your next crazy thing.
  • Conversations can solve must problems. Nothing kills leadership more than being passive aggressive.
  • It’s important to have people in your life who can speak into you and ask you the tough questions. Being a leader can get very lonely, so having people who you can chat about ministry, vent to, make sure your head is not getting to big and keeping you in check, is one of the most important thing you can do as a leader.
  • Spending time with Jesus is the power source to whatever you do. I know this seems like a no brainer to anyone in ministry, but it’s amazing how business can get in the way of it. There have been weeks where I fell off the normal routine of reading and journaling without even really realizing it and I was wondering why I felt so clouded.
  • There is no such thing as repeating the vision statement of your ministry too much. People need to be reminded of why they are there and what you are trying to accomplish.
  • Don’t forget to celebrate. If you are anything like me, once something is done I’m on to the next thing. Moving forward is great, but looking back and celebrating all that God had just done and celebrating the people who helped make it happen is just as important. If you are a good celebrator, people will be pumped to keep moving forward with you.
  • As much as I love the ministry I am a part of, I love my church. I have realized how much loving the church as a whole is very important. Being the leader of the ministry means there will be times where other areas of the church might need your expertise or service and I want our ministry and leaders to be the standard in which we serve our church. It is so important and it reflects your leadership to everyone else by how well you, your team and volunteers serve the church as a whole.

Man, I could go on and on with the lists of things I have learned and am learning. It’ been a crazy and exciting year and I’m excited to see God move in this next year as we are launching small groups within our ministries. Thanks for taking the ride along with me.

What have you been learning in leadership this year? Add to the conversation below.