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.
A big task in these first 30 days is keeping your eyes and ears open. When you walk in you are most likely relieving some volunteers who were carrying the torch in absence of a staff person.
Imagine writing curriculum, leading youth group, preparing sermons, reconciling budgets, dealing with cutting comments and emails all while working a full-time job. You need to take some time and say thank you to some people that you just met.
In your excitement to get things rolling it can be easy to not acknowledge what happened before you. Missing this opportunity can sabotage you before you even get started.
Those that kept things running might gladly step back and let you run with it as they return to a volunteer role or they might want to hang around. Despite you say some of these leaders will hang on to their role and the influence that came with it. For these leaders they liked having some control. This is understandable, but dangerous.
They ran the ministry you just stepped into their way and no two leaders have exactly the same style. Therefore there will always be an opportunity for criticism and/or dissension. You come into this situation at a disadvantage that many Rookie Pastors don’t anticipate.
The last thing you want to do is ignore them. If they are bitter because you didn’t thank them and acknowledge what they gave to the ministry before you got there can you really blame them?
At least don’t be surprised when they start resisting your leadership.