So I have decided to “chronicle” my first year in my new ministry here at Hopevale Church with the idea that it might be helpful to someone who has recently transitioned to a new youth ministry position.
Week 1: Learning, learning, learning
my first week at Hopevale was all about learning new systems, new protocol, new computer, new people, new church DNA, you name it… and I was starting to learn it. It’s amazing that you can be in student ministry for a decade and still feel like a complete rookie when you transition to a new place. I’m pretty sure that this is normal. This week can seem like a throw away, get through it kind of week… but it is NOT. It is a CRUCIAL week. You are letting your co-workers and team know who you are from a “first impressions” stand-point… and you are beginning to establish a leadership pace.
Week 2: take a trip
Week two for me at Hopevale was a trip with next year’s seniors and their small group leaders. This was a great week of learning about students, connecting with students and leaders, and allowing them to get to know me on a personal level. Relational equity will go a long way if you start to build it early. I had an awesome time and I know our students and leaders did as well.
One of the most helpful books for me in youth ministry from the beginning, was Doug Fields “your first two years in youth ministry.” Every youth pastor can remember a time where they were given an office/space, handed a key, and were told “welcome to youth ministry!” We can all remember sitting down in our chair behind our desk and then wondering “WHAT IN THE WORLD DO I DO NOW?” Because, up until this point, everything was theory. Everything looked good and sounded good on paper, but now reality is setting in. That book walked me through those moments and helped me understand what it is I need to be doing and how I need to be doing it. But what about transition? What about a story like mine? I have transitioned now into my 3rd full time role (I spent one year as a volunteer YP in college… I’m not counting that one) in youth ministry. One transition was in the middle of the year, so it was pretty easy to “hit the ground running” but the other two are in the summer, which is a traditionally “Down” time for student ministry. I thought, “It’s great that there is a resource for the new guy, but what about guys like me who are transitioning?” SO… for the next few months I am going to be writing about transitioning into a new youth ministry. I’ll basically be outlining what is going on in my world so that maybe, just maybe I can help someone who is also going through this.
**this will also help my friends back in Kokomo, IN keep up with me 🙂