Thursday, August 7, 2008

Moving Up in Ministry - by Brett Davis

Brett has just gone from being an intern to being an associate on our staff. He is a very gifted youg man and knows student ministry well. I asked him to write this article, because who better to write this topic than someone actually going through it. If you are an intern, college student, teenager, Associate on a church staff or full time youth pastor you can gain a lot from what Brett says in this article:

Moving Up in Ministry - By Brett

So you’ve started your career in ministry and God’s placed you at the top of the food chain! Well, maybe not. Many of you, like myself, start at the bottom as an intern and are left to work your way to the top. Interning at a church is one of the most challenging, sleep-deprived, fun-filled experiences of your life. The question is, how do you take the intern experience and cultivate it into a career in ministry? Over the past year, I’ve succeeded, failed, learned, and been challenged in ways that have allowed me to continue as an associate at Second Baptist Church. Here are some of the things that I’ve learned:

Be a Learner-

There is a reason that you are an intern. You don’t know it all! Listen to your bosses. They are in positions that you might want to be in someday. They have knowledge that you don’t have. Study what they do and the decisions that they make. If something goes well, take note of your boss’ decision making ability. If it goes wrong, learn from their mistakes. If you learn from their mistakes, you won’t have to make that same mistake yourself!

Know God-

You can’t tell others about Him if you don’t know Him. Spend time with God daily. Read his Word and talk to Him. Don’t get confused; doing ministry and spending time with God are not the same thing. Many times, people in ministry spend more time working for God than they do enjoying God.

Be Loyal-

Be loyal to your church, your pastor, your boss, and your co-workers. You might not agree with everything that goes on at your church, but you must remember whom you work for. Take up your disputes behind closed doors, not with friends, church members, or volunteers.

Remember Who You Work For-

To truly be successful in ministry, you must constantly remind yourself that you first work for God, then for your church. Don’t get caught up in concentrating solely on the tangible things that make you as an employee look good (numbers, programs, etc.) These things are important, but you must first be concerned with what God wants from you in your ministry. Remember whom you are accountable to: 1. God 2. Church

Don’t Worry about Getting the Credit-

So you busted it all week and pulled off an event that was a major success! On Monday in staff meeting you get to hear about how great your boss is for pulling off the event that YOU did most of the work on! You can’t worry about who gets all of the credit. If you did do all of the work, then your boss will most assuredly know about it. Make your boss look good, and he will take care of you!

Be Willing to Learn-

You are young and have your entire career ahead of you. Don’t get stuck in a niche of “this is what I do.” Learn all aspects of ministry including production, administrative tasks, discipleship, decision counseling, and anything else you have the opportunity to learn. The more you know about the entire scope of ministry, the better you will be at leading a ministry.

Wait Your Turn-

Rome wasn’t built in a day. You may think you know it all and that you could be running the ministry that you work for. You’ve got to learn to patiently wait for opportunities to lead. As you prove yourself more and more, your boss will gain more and more confidence in you. He will then begin to release greater amounts of responsibility to you. Be patient and wait for opportunities, or you could potentially damage the trust that your have built up with your boss.

Don’t be Outworked-

Youth Pastor Brian Mills told me this, “I don’t pay interns to sleep!” This is a sobering truth. If you want to move up in the ministry world, you have to work harder than everyone else. Stay late in the office, go to as many sporting events as you can, invest your time in students’ lives. If you are an intern, you have to prove that you are a valuable asset to the team. The harder you work, the more value you bring to the company. Hint: Companies like to hire people that add value to their organizations!

Be a Professional- Ministry is your job, not your hobby. You are paid to know how to do ministry. Learn what students are dealing with and how you can help them. Read books on ministry. Study other churches and ministries in order to see how you can make your ministry better. Always be looking for new and creative ways to improve your ministry.

Have Fun!- God has given you an awesome opportunity to work for Him and you should enjoy it! Meet people and make relationships. Many of the people that you meet today will become lifelong friends. Enjoy their company and have fun with them. Ministry is a serious job, but a fun one. Enjoy every opportunity that you have in it!

1 comment:

Jason Mick said...

EXCELLENT article Brett! Thanks for sharing this Brian.