Three Things I Shared When Meeting My CM Staff For The First Time


I met my new church today. I was a little worried to be honest. Here I’d moved my family halfway across the country from Kansas City to St. Pete, Florida to work as the Children’s Pastor for a church I’d never even been to. I say I was worried… but honestly, I wasn’t. Two reasons:

1. God has worked out so much and made this move so obviously a part of His will I knew this would be no different.

2. The leadership of this church is what attracted me here. They could have been handling snakes and I would have been okay. (That last part is a lie… but almost not.)

After service there was a Children’s Ministry luncheon prepared to introduce me to the lay staff. I shook a lot of hands, met a lot of great folks and forgot a whole mess of names… though I do recall that two girls who were named after Disney Princesses and a dude named Nathan with a very happy Dad.

I wasn’t prepared to say anything… but I was asked and so I walked to the front. I didn’t feel like telling them about where I had worked, how hardcore it was, how many folks I’d had working with me or any of that. The things that were burning in my heart to share were…

1. This ministry does not need me to fix it.

It’s a healthy ministry where kids are growing and being taken care of. I’m not here to fix something that’s broken, but rather to nurture and direct the growth that is already happening.

2. I can tell instantly that you are good people with great hearts.

I don’t usually talk like this… but there was a healthy, family, friendly spirit in the room. I’m sure I’ll bump heads with someone in there eventually… but they seemed eager to accept my family and hit the road running!

3. I want to honor the work you’ve all done by learning what you do.

These folks have recently said goodbye to a CP and then held down the fort for at least nine weeks waiting for us to arrive. I’m not going to barge in and ignore the hard work they’ve put in. I’m sure we won’t be doing it exactly the same 3-6 months from now… but I’ll bet I’ll enjoy the things they do as much as they enjoy the tricks I have up my sleeve.

All in all… it was a fantastic day. (Except for the part where I told the staff that I had prepared a rap for them.) It was cool seeing the church as just another person before I have to go in and be Pastor James. It allowed me to see things from a first-timer’s perspective (which is a very hard thing to do later on) and let me experience the worship service without pressure.

Tomorrow morning I start my first week in the office. Woo hoo!

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