Juggling Sheep
Welcome to Juggling Sheep, Jay Perry's blog about time management and personal productivity for pastors. Learn to balance work, life, family, and personal spirituality.

Share your best practices, tips and tricks, processes, sermon planning ideas, and resources. Feel free to email me: jaylperry[at]gmail[dot]com.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What to Do First?

I've been on the ground in my new church district for almost three weeks now.

I've been doing a lot of unpacking and moving things around and trying to get settled into our new house.  Kendra has started her new job teaching a couple of classes.  Nathaniel has started second grade at a new school and gymnastics at a new gym.

I've preached a sermon in each church and I've attended an elders meeting.

How do you get up to speed in a new church district?

Here's what I've done:
  • Started weekly meetings with the associate pastor
    • learning about who he is and what exactly he does
    • learning about who the (elected and de facto) leaders are
    • learning about the current ministry structure
    • learning about pitfalls and areas of opportunity
    • learning about recent church history and why things are the way they are
    • learning about what's on the calendar
    • chosen a book to read through and discuss together
  • Started working on some upcoming sermon series
    • Heaven in My Heart
    • Children's Bible Heroes
    • Advent
  • Started meeting with elders and church leaders individually
    • getting to know them
    • trying to figure out the big picture
  • Ordered the NCD survey
  • Started exercising more regularly
Here's what I think need to do next:
  •  Administer the NCD survey
    • assess the church's health in 8 quality areas
    • evaluate a starting point
    • start work on two "minimum factors"
  • Continue meeting with elders and leaders individually
  • Move into the church office
  • Establish my regular office hours and work routine
  • Try not to change the whole world all at once
Any advice?

1 comment:

Andre said...

Pastor Jay,

Thank you for taking the time to post your experiences online for any random person to see. As a fellow pastor in the Adventist Church, I find it refreshing to see your intentionality and openness. I am just a year and a half into my ministry experience, so I am not in the position to give you solid feedback on your intro schedule. Nonetheless, I think you seem to have a good approach, heavy on up-front listening to inform your ministry activities to come. NCD is a good move as well, so you can present many of your ministry initiatives as a response to the self-determined conclusions the congregation came up with for itself versus the new guy coming to "change the world all at once."

I think exercise is also an excellent thing to do in this time of transition, keep that up, I hope to be more consistent in this area for myself as well.

Blessings on your transition, and I do wonder, how are you going to track and report most of your findings from these one-on-one conversations with leadership? Do you plan on looking for trends and sharing the patterns with others as a benchmark? Or are you just going to keep the insights in your personal file for your own use? Just curious...