When I was on staff at a church, it used to blow me away thinking about everything that had to be done to get ready for Sunday morning. Things like supplies for Small Groups, snacks, baby wipes, sign-in and sign-out sheets, security measures, music, sanitized toys, lessons, volunteers . . . the list seemed to go on forever! Because I had a great team, things usually ran very smoothly. We did what we had to do every week and things got done. After awhile, I found that with so many things to check off the to-do list each week, it was hard to think outside the to-do list. It was difficult to find time to evaluate, and re-evaluate our systems and the reasons behind why we did things the way we did them. I realized, this is where an outside voice can be invaluable.
Often I would have a new volunteer come in to the ministry and as I was showing him/her the ropes, they’d ask “Why?” (I love folks who question processes!) It was usually the only time anything ever changed for the better. Because I was too much “in it,” it was hard from me to see the “what ifs” until someone pointed them out.
Having an outside voice speak into your ministry is invaluable. Someone who can look under the hood and examine what is working, what’s not working, and what could be working better can bring a fresh perspective. Oftentimes, the best changes in a ministry can be small changes. You never know what kind of questions someone with an outside perspective might ask that lead to change for the better.
Finding an outside perspective isn’t as hard as you may think. Here are a few suggestions:
- New (and old) volunteers: Make sure all of your volunteers know that their opinions and thoughts matter. This will give them ownership of the ministry and they’ll do everything they can to strive for excellence.
- Ministry leaders from another church: Find a leader who may be a little further ahead than where you are and pick their brain.
- Conferences: These are great places to connect with other leaders and share ideas. Getting away and out of your world for a few days can bring a fresh perspective.
- Coaching: Orange coaching, specifically. All of the certified Orange coaches are experts in their field. They’ve lead ministries, and many are still in ministry in some capacity. You can learn from their wins AND their mistakes! (You can find out more info at www.OrangeCoaching.org.)
Preschool ministry is so important. Preschoolers are determining what they think about their Creator. Shouldn’t we do everything we can to make sure we’re doing our job in the best possible way? Sometimes you just need a little help and a fresh perspective to get there.