Start with People

The pressure is on when you walk in on your very first day….at least that’s what I felt like. 

The day that I sat down at my new desk in my new office in my new role at my new church I began experiencing this heavy burden to make this girls’ ministry awesome. 

Let me clarify what I mean. I deeply desired (and still do) for the girls at The Church at Brook Hills to know the Lord, love Him, follow Him, grow in Him, share His truth, and lead other girls to do the same. That desire and heavy calling is from the Lord because that is what He is after because it makes much of His great name. But the other pressure that I was feeling was to have the coolest things going on that every single girl wanted to be a part of, my boss would be impressed by, moms would love, and The Church at Brook Hills would think I am awesome. These things = not from the Lord. These were the pressures and expectations that I had heaped up on myself that were causing a lot of anxiety and stress that were just completely unnecessary and partly sinful due to my pride. 

I had shifted God’s expectations of me {be faithful and obedient} to things that I thought were important. And that is dangerous and unfruitful ground to be stepping in. 

When it comes to cool things and big events and all that jazz, I’m a fan. I think they are important and impactful. But my purpose behind those in all of this pressure I was feeling was not grounded in a God-honoring foundation. Again, I had shifted. 

So after a couple of days of feeling completely overwhelmed, I thought it might be a good idea to see what the Bible said and how Jesus handled this whole ministry thing. 

The thing I quickly realized was that small was good. Those big events and elaborate activities I thought I needed weren’t necessary. So I started with a few people. 

I met some girls from our student ministry, and I hung out with them. I got to know them. Then they introduced me to their friends. And I hung out with them. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but I think we got together for lunch at one of their favorite places close by (this was in the summer), shared some Passion Tea Lemonades with a pump of Raspberry at Starbucks (i.e., summer in a cup), and they would come and sit on the couch in my office. I continued branching out from there and started really getting to know the girls in this ministry I was now leading and heard where their hearts were, what their faith was like, the things they were struggling with, and what they enjoyed doing. 

In addition to the girls, I started hanging out with some moms. We got together at Jason’s Deli and they talked for a couple of hours about their daughters. (Bonus note: Parents love talking about their kids.) This gave me a glimpse into areas that these moms saw their daughters growing and struggling in. It also allowed me to see ways that moms wanted to be involved and where they needed encouragement and support. 

And I spent some time with our small group leaders/volunteers. These people are so important and valuable. I got to know the ones that I was leading alongside of, my teammates with the same goals of leading and loving girls. They shared what their girls were talking about in small groups, areas they desired to grow in, and things they wanted to talk about with the girls. 

You don’t have to meet everyone on the first day. But start. Get to know those people. Amy has a great post about how she started doing this and how that helped her learn to schedule out her time during the week. If you are joining an existing staff, contact them before you start and ask them to get some girls together for you to meet over your first few days.

Starting with people and building relationships mean that you get to know more than just names. It helps you identify where to go and topics to address. So let go of that pressure to do that monstrous event your third week. Get to know your people. - Becca