This is part of a blog series that has 30 practical tips for the pastor looking to start or restart well. You can get the entire series as a Kindle book. The landing page will be updated with each new post.
Find the Hangouts
It may seem like political maneuvering (partly because it is) but you need to be seen. Therefore go to where the people are.
What I love about talking to other Rookie Pastors is the energy they have for what God has put in front of them and their willingness to do whatever it takes. That attitude, particularly in terms of doing things different relative to the past, is incredibly encouraging.
If there was one theme I’ve heard it is the idea of going instead of receiving. Models that only expect people to show up are proving less effective and the emergence of the missional concept is indicative of this shift.
So if you are going to go where the people are you have to first understand where they are. Sometimes these are really easy answers like high school sports and performing arts or the local diner or coffee shop, but other times you have to be more perceptive.
Coffee shops are a given, but a lot of people go to coffee shops to get work done or to pretend to get work done. Especially in the summer go get some ice cream or yogurt. It seems like every year there is a new place that everyone is raving over. Sign up for local service projects that the city or non-profits coordinate. Go to the park, take your kids to the playground, or get a bike. Don’t overthink it and just get around other people.
Set this precedent early and let people get to know you as the new pastor.