I have been involved in church ministry for over 2 decades. I have worked with preschool children, elementary children, behind the scenes as an admin assistant, been involved with the music and currently work with the youth. And while the level of involvement, the responsibilities and the manner in which communication is accomplished has changed over the years, much has stayed the same.
Recently, I was thinking about how often my ministry involvement and having my own business are alike. Here are my observations. If you have others to add to the list, I would love to see them!
- If you don’t have a plan for the day, the children/teens will. From time to time I get up and turn on my computer for the day expecting my workload to be light and thinking that I might take time to chill out. More often than not, those are the days that rather than simply working just a few hours, I end up with a full day’s work! (Not a complaint, just an observation.)
- You have to be flexible. Just because you have a plan, it doesn’t mean that the lesson prepared will be the lesson taught. In business, you have to be open to new approaches in getting a job done. After all, the Web and the way one does business is always changing.
- Mistakes happen; don’t dwell on them! Find a way to correct the problem and deal with it effectively and efficiently. Sometimes that great object lesson or game completely backfires and you have to be able to address the situation and move forward. In business, that idea that sounded so wonderful in your head might not be a great in practice. Be willing to step back, re-assess and move forward again.
- You can’t please everyone; sometimes you have to sign off on a project. This doesn’t mean failure, just the need to find a better way. Also keep in mind, that some people refuse to be pleased with a product/service. These people are always going to be there. Learn what you can in those situations and move forward.
- The client/customer must feel valued. Even if you cannot provide the exact service or product one might want, going out of your way to provide service with a smile is a great way to build repeat customers. In a ministry, you must make each person, from the team members to the people being served, feel like they matter…because they do!
- Everything eventually works out, It might not always be the way you envisioned it, but a solution can usually be found that pleases most of the people involved.
- It takes work. There is always something to be done. Whether it is planning the next meeting, writing another blog post, visiting with new clients or ministry team members, etc. Like in business, you can count on ministry taking time.
- There is always room for improvement. No business, regardless of its size, can’t be improved with more training, better procedures, etc. Ministry is no different. There will always be ways to make the space more inviting, help leaders to be stronger and attendees feel more welcomed and connected.