Tips For Working In Ministry
1. Planning and Organization
For the upcoming generation in ministry, it is not atypical for them to lack planning and organization. They go into a ministry or an event with the mindset that everything will somehow magically work out. The truth is that in order for a ministry or an event to be successful you and your ministry team must be on top of planning and organization. Don't wait until the last second to do things. Trusting in the Lord is great, after all He is all powerful and all good. However, He also gave us the ability to think for ourselves and create something to glorify Him. When you wait until the last second or do not have definite deadlines, you will either find yourself and the people you are working with both overwhelmed and frustrated with you and the situation, or you will find yourself passing off last second duties to people to pick up your slack. Take worship nights for example. If your worship leader has not practiced the chords or does not know the lyrics to the song, it becomes more of a distraction to the people trying to experience the Spirit moving. Preparation for every aspect of ministry is important.
2. Respect the Experience and Authority of Others
One of the most disrespectful and spiritually immature things one can do is dismiss and disregard the knowledge and direction of somebody with experience. For instance, if you are managing an event and you have a supervisor that is over you who has organized the event several times in the past, listen. Do not argue with the person about the intentions of the event just to morph the event or ministry into what you personally want. Instead ask them questions. Ask how you can help them do what God is calling them to do. Feel free to throw ideas out there, but do not argue. That is what the devil uses to tear a ministry apart from the inside. Put your pride aside. Another sign of respect is confirming the leader's decision. This does not necessarily mean that you accept everything they say without question, it is that you do not go out of your way to make them look back in public, act like you know better, and talk behind their back.
In ministry, you will be serving with people and for people. It is vital that you keep that in mind. Ministry is not about what glorifies you, but what glorifies God. You have to be able to adapt. The things you do should fit the demographics and environment. For example, a youth group in Scottsdale, Arizona is going to look a bit different than a youth group in more poverty stricken part of Phoenix, Arizona. You have to listen to voices of those you are serving to find out how to best serve them. Ministry is not about what you want an event to look like, but what God can do through an event. Ministry is not about who you want to attend a group or what the group does, but who God wants there and what God wants to do. You must be able to put away for desires and work. You have to listen to the needs of the people you are serving and the people you are serving with and put them above your own. Always ask yourself if your motive is for your glory or God's glory.
Just like in a relationship, communication is key. If you are working with a team, you have to communicate. All members of the team should know all the details in case somebody asks them a question. If you have a band playing for an event and you do not communicate the practice times and dates ahead of time, things can get in the way. They may not be able to get their equipment when you need, they might have previous engagements planned already, or they may not be in the area. If you are using a facility, make sure you communicate with whomever it may concern so that you reserve the area and have access to it. Communicate with the senior pastor. A senior pastor should know of all things that are happening in the church. In a team, you have to communicate with people about personal issues as well. If you are not handling it like it says to in the Bible (approach them one-on-one, then bring somebody, etc), then you are demonstrating a lack of spiritual maturity, especially if you are talking about your issue with them behind their back and to other people who are not involved.
5.Focus On People Not Projects
In everything you do, you should be pushing Jesus, not your next project. In ministry, you may feel pressure to get people to attend the projects your ministry does. You get the pressure of organizing events, services, curriculum, and trips. This can cause your ministry to be about the projects and not Jesus. This can cause you to started preaching your project announcements instead of preaching God's Word. Ministry is about investing into people's lives. Take time everyday to put down the desk work and be around the people you are ministering to. Use the projects to reach out to people and help them, not to make yourself look good.
6.Don't Forget To Rest
In my experience, ministry can be stressful, especially when working with people are not spiritually mature. Set out a schedule for yourself to get all your ministry work done throughout the week. In this, set aside a day each week where you relax and recharge. Do not overwork yourself by agreeing to do ministry work on this day and surrendering your time of rest. It is necessary so that you do not burn out. It is better to have a long and consistent ministry than one that goes pedal to the metal but is forced to end prematurely.
Remember God has been working long before you arrived and will be working long after you are gone in a ministry. Look for at what He has been doing and let God use you as a tool for His glory. Do as much as you can for as many as you can for as long as you kind and God will be faithful.