I love going out to breakfast with ministers, it’s just a great way to start the day. I don’t even have to talk shop, but there’s something about the time of day and food that makes everything good. I was at Bob Evans talking with this minister about a new season in ministry. Right now he’s in the position of trying something different, taking a step away for a season, which I’m fine with. But before he took a step back I wanted to make sure that I took some time to reflect with him on the past 5 years that he served alongside me.
In ministry all of our leaders are traveling a different path. Some have been in it for 3 months while others for 15 years. It’s essential for us to take time to check in and listen to what they’ve experienced. Below I have three different times it’s good for us to check-in:
- 3, 6, 12 Month Reviews: Most of the time if a minister is new it’s wise to walk with them through the first couple of months of ministry. Many times ministers leave early on because they don’t feel needed or they are completely overwhelmed. I’m not saying we baby them, but we need to check in with them because the first 3 months, 6 months and even year is a transition time. So sit down with them and have them review their journey thus far.
- Mentorships: Now that I’ve had some people on board for 3-5 years some of them are reevaluating their commitment. It’s not because they are burnout, but because they are searching for more. What I’m learning to do is develop a coaching system for my ministers so that the experienced (whether currently serving or not) can pour their wisdom into the cups of the new. This is also good because they can see things that you might have missed and let you know what the team needs.
- Pick Their Brains: It’s hard to let go of a great ministers, but before you let them go it’s important to ask them, “How did you do it?” For someone to serve 5, 10, 15 years is amazing; therefore, it’s essential to figure out how they did it. Most of the time they won’t know right away, but the more you pick their brain the more you’ll see the trends and what makes it possible.
We can’t forget about our ministers and we can’t forget that they are going through many different seasons (spiritually, professionally and in family), that’s why it’s important to check in with them. When you do take the time you’ll learn what your ministry looks like from a fresh perspective, a veteran and a seasoned minister and that will only help you grow as a leader.