Jeff Goins is a blogger. Most bloggers lack focus and fail to produce consistent content, Jeff is not one of those bloggers. He mainly focuses on writing but covers a wide range of topics. If you are looking for someone who understands building platform and has recently taken a big jump, Jeff is your guy.
When I started working in full-time ministry five years ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. If I go back in time, I’d give myself some advice on how I could have done it differently. It might sound something like these five tips:
1) Ministry is business. Remember all those econ classes you tried to avoid in college? Yeah, well, too bad for you now, because it’s all coming back to haunt you.
It’s time to face the facts: ministry is a business.
Not in some evil, underhanded way, but just in a real pragmatic way. Most churches and ministries are 501c3 nonprofit organizations, and they have to worry about things like fiscal responsibility, human resources, and marketing budgets.
You need to read some basic material on smart business practices, because you’ll need it. You’ll be dealing with money; you’ll have business-related questions. It’s time to grow up and learn a thing or two.
2) Being in full-time ministry does not give you a “get out of jail free card” when it comes to prayer and quiet times. In fact, it will be exponentially harder to maintain a strong spiritual life while in ministry, because you’ll think that just by doing “the Lord’s work” that you’re “safe.” And you couldn’t be farther from the truth. Daily disciplines are essential now more than ever. Get started.
3) There will be jerks. Don’t expect everyone that you meet in ministry to be like Marge Simpson (on her good days). There are unwholesome, bitter, angry people in ministry. You might be one of them! Learn to extend people grace and ask for forgiveness.
4) Learn your personality type so that you can manage it. If I knew how much ministries worshiped the Myers-Briggs personality test, I would’ve spent a lot more time studying it. Everybody’s different and what you thought was a “spiritual gift” may in fact just be a genetic predisposition. Spend some time learning how to work well with other personalities, so you don’t inadvertently judge someone for not being “holier” (like you).
5) Cultivate the discipline of giving and receiving feedback. So much growth happens in ministry by rubbing up against someone who causes friction in your life. The typical, immature response is to be defensive or try to hide our weaknesses. However, really successful ministry leaders know how to take some good criticism to heart; in fact, they ask for it. You should start doing the same now — so that when someone who may or may not have your best intentions in mind comes along to criticize, you’ll be ready to receive any truth that they have to offer.
What would you tell yourself from five years ago?