|Courtesy of Dreamstime.com|
When I wear a shirt and tie into work people will ask one of three questions:
- Are you interviewing for another job?
- Who’s funeral?
- Ran out of clean clothes?
While there are times I do dress up because of the latter two, there are other times I just want to feel a little more professional. Don’t get me wrong, I take my job seriously, it’s a calling and I want to be as professional as possible; however, the typical uniform of a youth minister is sneakers, jeans and a t-shirt. That’s just the way we roll.
Unfortunately, there is the stigma that youth ministers are just overgrown teenagers who like to eat pizza and nail teens with dodge balls (some of that is true). With this mindset it’s easy to give people the impression that we can’t always be taken seriously and that makes it difficult to recruit ministers, find commitment from parents and investment from church members. So, how do we change this perception?”
It’s through EVALUATION and REFLECTION on what we do. Here are a few questions to determine, “How professional is the ministry?”
What Do People Think When They Walk In?
When people walk in do they notice disorganization or is what they see pleasing to the eye. If a place is messy and people are not in place you’ve created a turnoff. It sounds petty; however, it’s true.
Also if you walk in and don’t feel welcomed you are immediately going to turn around or put up a guard. Either way you are creating more obstacles than opportunities. As ministries we should work on first impressions.
Are Your Ministers Clear With Your Expectations?
Do ministers show up late? Is your team following directions? You could blame them; however, the problem is probably you and the lack of clarity in instructions and expectations. There are many times we leave things up to assumptions, which only leads us down a slippery slope. Making sure we take the time to list things out and repeat them is how our expectations can be met.
What Distractions Prevent Others From Focusing On God?
If the room isn’t comfortable or if the medium you use to communicate isn’t clear, your audience will have trouble focusing. There are distractions that are unpreventable (i.e. power outages) and then there are ones we can prevent such as lack of preparation and poor quality. If we don’t have time to make copies, prepare messages or coordinate a game, we need to find people who will share the burden. One of the best steps to overcoming distractions is by delegating our responsibilities to maximize our capacity.
How Often Is Your Vision And Mission Repeated?
If your mission and vision is repeated people will begin to know it making it easier for them to embrace it. A vision embraced is a vision lived out and what you create is a movement. If your ministry doesn’t have a vision it will be obvious, because it will lack purpose.
To be professional, you don’t need to wear a tie, you just need to make sure you are clear with expectations, aware of your surroundings and intentional about what you do. It’s important to evaluate and reflect on what it is you do, because through self examination we can learn more about ourselves.
What steps do you take to be more professional?