September 1, 2012 by Dennis C. Cook
I have been in the ministry since 1997. I have served as a volunteer, bi-vocational director, part-time director, and full-time minister. This makes me no expert. This does make me experienced in failures. I have a habit of failing. I make mistakes each day – on the hour, and then some – just ask my wife!
So, over the month of September, our talented writers will be sharing with you some “dos & don’ts” they have learned along the way in their settings of ministry. Throughout the month we will share “dos & don’ts” in the areas of: choir, worship, planning, co-existing as a staff, and finally the catch-all and dreaded “other-duties-as-assigned” part of our job description.
Today, I will share with you some things I have learned over the years about the “other-duties-as-assigned” category.
- DO learn to be flexible. You are called to be a minister first. We are called to minister in any way possible to share the gospel. Doing this may not always get us sharing our area of expertise.
- DO learn to say “I don’t know.” There are many needs within the church and you will feel the weight of those needs daily. The challenge will be to concentrate first on the reason you were hired, and then do what you can in the time you have left.
- DO agree to help other ministry leaders accomplish specific tasks. Team-work in ministry is a great thing. I benefit from it daily at my church. My Student Pastor helps me a great deal. Many things he helps me with, though, are outside the realm of music/worship responsibilities.
- DO learn to delegate. This is something I continue to struggle with. I believe I have a particular way I need to do something and instead of taking the time to train someone else, I add the burden to my already cumbersome load!
- DO plan ahead. Make good use of the calendar on your smart phone, computer, old-fashioned day planner, or whatever to plan your day. Plan out all of the things you can do and keep notes. Do what you can and then leave the rest.
- DON’T forget to pray. With all the other duties you are assigned, comes the possibility that God is calling someone ELSE to lead in that area. Bathe the need in prayer and be specific when asking God to lead you to the person to lead in this ministry.
- DON’T say “yes” when you mean “no.” Try not to overcommit yourself because you cannot balance the weight of everything without making something else suffer. Adding one more thing only take away from your main area of emphasis
- DON’T put anything above your main two responsibilities: Your relationship with Christ and your family.
- DON’T attempt to put yourself in two places at one time. Always plan ahead and schedule. When you aren’t given an opportunity to plan ahead, give first option to those who asked for your time first.
- DON’T agree to do something when you know you cannot accomplish it. For example, if my church came to me and said, would you re-wire the fellowship hall lights? If I said yes, I would be absolutely out of my mind. I have no clue about anything that falls into the electrical category. If I said yes, it would cost more money to fix what I messed up, take more time to accomplish the task and ruin my trust with the church. All of those things happen when we commit to do something out of the realm of who we are.
Can you add some “DOs & DON’Ts” to this list? We would love your comments…