My first ministry position was serving as Director of Junior High Ministries at Grace Chapel in Lexington, MA. I ended up staying on the pastoral staff for over 11 years, in three additional leadership positions. But, the first few years were incredibly formative for my soul, my character, and my competencies as a pastor. There are several principles that were forged on the anvil of junior high school ministry. I call them transferable concepts because I’ve seen them replicated in every other ministry setting since that amazing season of life and service.
Here they are for your consideration:
1. Team – A team based ministry is superior to all other options.
2. Lead – Each team needs a competent leader who appropriately leads.
3. Relationships are #1 – People over programs…always.
4. Mimicry – Followers mimic…watch what you say and do.
5. 1 step ahead – Anticipate, plan, and always be one step ahead.
6. Management of stuff – Lots of things to care for; manage well.
7. Retreats – Time away from the routines deepens everything and everyone.
8. Context – You are not an island or a silo; you need and belong to the larger Body of Christ.
9. Church – Teach by words and example that God’s Church matters; positively influence health at all times.
10. Pray – Be in the Word daily, walk with God prayerfully, examen your life reflectively.
Spiritual formation includes every aspect of a believer’s life and daily ministry endeavors. My prayer for the teams I lead and the leaders I serve is that a whole-life perspective will guide, direct, and sustain…from the inside (our heart and soul) out (our service to others). May it be so for you today!