So, you’re a new pastor in a new church. You’ve found the church, figured out how to unlock the door and turn on the lights, now what? Here are some suggestions for getting started:
1. Settle your household
ü Unpack your stuff and move in – physically and emotionally
ü Care for your family
2. Seek God’s guidance
ü Establish a routine of prayer and devotion
ü Ask for everyone to pray and intercede even before you begin
ü Walk the “charge” seeking and listening to God’s guidance
3. Make new friends
ü Meet everyone in the church, individually or in small groups
· What do you love about your church?
· What excites you about this church?
· What would you improve to make your church better?
ü Meet the neighbors
· What do you know about this church?
· What can the church do to help people in this community?
· Who else do you know that I should introduce myself to?
ü Gather a coalition of support for change
ü Identify 3-5 key leaders whom you will invest most of your time initially discipling
4. Learn about the church
ü Study the story and history
ü Diagram the relationships
ü Listen for the vision and purpose
ü Identify the gifts and assets of the congregation
ü Assess the health of the church and its capacity for increased ministry
5. Learn about the community
ü Do the demographics – from data and from “walking around”
ü Meet with community leaders
ü Identify the spiritual needs of the community
6. Keep lots of notes
ü New eyes see new insights
ü Share your discoveries with everyone
ü Review what you’ve learned before each planning cycle
Short list Resources:
- www.missioninsite.com - demographics & leadership resources online
- The Pastor’s Start-Up Manual: Beginning a New Pastorate by Robert Ramey
- Surviving Your First Year as Pastor by Angie Best-Boss
- The Complete Ministry Audit by Bill Easum & Rober Brydia
- The Power of Asset Mapping by Luther Snow