Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Mistakes I've made in Ministry.
We've all made mistakes. I've made a lot. I'm so thankful for forgiveness and Grace.
Here are a Highlight of some I remember:
I. Not knowing about permission forms and liability. In one of my ministries I just thought it was ok to take students out and hang out. Fact is I need to let the parents know where their child is at all times. It wasn't good to get a speeding ticket with a student while getting materials for V.B.S.
II. Checking the Church Van. Make sure the vehicle is always kept up and have some one check if in good condition and running order. I think the 2 times of being stranded - this might of helped. One on a trip to Milligan College, TN and the other with flat ties on I-295 on the way home from King's Dominion. Fortunately I had gotten the vehicle over in time.
III. Counseling resources. I had a young man - I'll call him: Fred. Fred caused many an issue in one of my ministries. He was kicked out, was going to sleep in his car etc. (And that was just a tip of the iceberg) - I wish At times I knew the resources out there more to help him.
IV. Be above Reproach. I had earlier in my ministry - was single and didn't think through on all things. Thus accusations of flirting, being lazy, too much time spending with so and so etc. Could of been worse ... and did do some stupid things ... but I think being above reproach or trying to be would of helped.
V. Watching your language. People can take things the wrong way. Even when you write something. I know that communication is more than words too - it is your body language. I remember one time trying to communicate that there was an accident near a gas station and ended up making the Station's name sound like a Cuss word. (Without intending to). Language is very important. Sometimes it isn't so much what you say but how you say it.
VI. Watch your Games. Some games can be very rough. Know the rules. Keep them simple. Games like chubby bunny; even some messy games - seem to be things of the past. Try to play ones that are fun, not dangerous. I remember being the King of Messy Games (Trust me I did the Human Milkshake where you had each students chew on the ingredients in their mouth and then spit it into a cup and then I'd drink it)
VII. People are watching you. There are times (alot) I wish I can be a better husband, father etc. to my own family. Afterall, that is my first ministry. I yell, I get upset ...but I also cry. I love my family. This Sunday was a classic example: I told my one daughter she needed to be still (again) and at the end of the service she was upfront with me clinging ont to me. What that communicated to the church was I was committed to being a father as well as a leader to the church. I know I'll need to be trying better all the time.
VIII. Be a leader. There were times I admit I haven't been. Lately though in my current ministry - I've been the leader. In my last ministries I've been more of a follower? Why was that? I think it was due to perception. I was just a youth minister. My opinion didn't really matter. (Which in reality it did - and it took some encouragement from the leaders of those past ministries to let me know that)
IX. Be a life long learner. Sure I love to read, but learning from it was hard. I use to come off as the "I know it already guy" - now I'm the guy who hardly knows anything at all - willing to risk making mistakes and try Big things for God ...how about you?
I've made alot of mistakes in the past - including my family, church etc. And probably will make tons more. The big thing is am I learning from them?
What mistakes have you made?
What lessons have you got to share?