As many of you may know from my last post, I am the new student pastor at Courtney Baptist Church in NC. I started this past Monday and have been using most of my week setting up my office and getting all my stuff there. Other than just moving my books and such to my office, I have been trying to do a few things this week to help me start off on the right foot at this new position. Here are a few things that I’m doing that I believe are things that will help you start off right in a new student pastor position:
Get to know the senior pastor. This is probably the biggest thing to do when starting a new student pastor position. Spend as much time as you can getting to know the senior pastor. Hopefully you have done a lot of this during the interview process, but get to know him as a person. Maybe leave ministry out of the conversation all together. Find out about his likes, dislikes, relationship with God, his family, his hobbies, and things like that. You will have plenty of meetings and time to talk to him about ministry, spend some time getting to know the person behind the “senior pastor” title.
Get your office set up like you want it. This may seem silly, but spend a few days getting your office set up exactly how you want it. The last thing you need is your office being set up over a span of three weeks while you’re trying to do student ministry. Make it your own place and get it the way you like it. You will be spending a lot of time planning, writing, meeting, and doing al your admin work there so make it comfortable. Make it a place where students, parents, and leaders can come and spend time with you.
Set up communication with leaders and parents. Make sure and spend some time getting your lines of communication set up. Try and get all the students, parents, and leaders phone number, Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail. These will be vital ways you will communicate with them so the faster you get it all set up the better. You may have to have a meeting with your parents and leaders to get this done and I would encourage you to do just that. Have a meeting and get to know your parents as well as leaders. Use part of that time getting all their contact info so you can start communicating with them on a regular basis. I am holding a parent/leader meeting next Sunday where I will share all my contact as well as get the contact information for all my parents and leaders. Once you got this, set up a database or document that hold all the contacts. Then you should be good to go!
Spend time preparing yourself spiritually. In all the craziness of starting a new position, don’t forget where your strength and effectiveness will really come from-God. Make sure you spend time preparing your heart and soul for the task ahead. You have students, parents, and leaders who are looking to you as a spiritual leader. Make sure your ready for that. Truth is, none of us are so make sure you go to the One who will make you ready.
These are just a few practical ways to start off right in a new student pastor position. Feel free to leave a comment and add your thoughts or other things you may think one should do when starting out in a new position.