As leaders we want to move forward and want results. But as a teammate with your staff and volunteers you want to be healthy. Coming in as the new guy there is the fine balance of changing and moving forward and not being “that guy” who comes in and does a complete overhaul on the ministry within the first few weeks. You don’t want to ruffle feathers too quickly (because I think leaders do and should ruffle feathers eventually because moving forward will scare people sometimes and leaders move forward) but you also do not want to sit on your hands and do nothing because the people who hired you didn’t hire you to do nothing. Chances are they hired you to do something and expect some sort of change in the ministry. So how do you balance this? How do we walk that tension?
Here are some thoughts about how I am going about it:
- You are the leader and you are there to make decisions. Decisions fall on you and it’s up to you to make decisions on where you feel God is leading you and you don’t need to apologize for this.
- I’m not making any big transitions right off the bat but I will start to meet, hang out with, coach, train our leaders to make sure we have the right people on board and we are all headed in the right direction. If I work from the inside out then when change does come on the big level, leaders will be on board and be your biggest cheerleader.
- People are going to question decisions. It’s part of the game. What I hope is that I have communicated the vision of the ministry clearly so while they may question the decision, they would never question my intentions.
- Change comes with resistance. Leaders push through resistance because they can see what things can be and help people to get there.
- Leaders care for the team. They are willing to hear out, listen and be there for those they are leading, helping them to get on board with where the ministry is going. We are leaders, but we shouldn’t be ruthless. Pastors are shepherds, they gather, they move forward, they correct and they love their flock.
- Respect the past while still moving forward. Great ministry has happened before you get there. Honor it, don’t just push it aside but don’t live by it. God has placed a vision and a passion on your heart and choose you to lead it in this time so move towards it.
If you have ever stepped into a ministry with a firm foundation, what are some things you have learned? What are the must do’s? What are the big no-no’s? How do you balance this? Comment below?