Monday, October 25, 2010

Finding My Groove

I was going to steal even more from the title How Stella Got Her Groove Back for the title of this post, but then I realized it didn't really fit. I haven't gotten my groove BACK; I'm just finally finding it. I feel like I'm hitting my stride in ministry. I don't mean just getting back into it since returning from maternity leave, or even the groove of this new(ish) call. I mean, I am finally getting into the groove of the whole gig.

I've been at this almost 8 1/2 years. You'd think I would have the hang of it by now. Or at least I would think that. You're probably smarter than me. I thought it would be old hat by now, but really I feel like I'm just now finally getting it. I'm just now finally finding that balance between empowering people and just doing it for them. I'm just now finally realizing that an in-home visit is 700% worth it. Making the phone call sucks (for me), but the visit is invaluable. I'm just now finally realizing that just because I wouldn't ever want one doesn't mean other people don't want them. I'm figuring out that while e-mail and social media are AWESOME for a LOT of things, much of the time a phone call is still better.

I think I can say with confidence and belief - - I am a good leader. That's a funny one because growing up the teachers always said the smart kids were the leaders. I fit that bill, but it always seemed weird because while the teachers said we were leaders none of our peers treated us that way. We had no leadership capital with them AT. ALL. The class presidents and student council kids weren't the super-smart ones; they were the popular kids. Our teachers and administrators were telling us we were the leaders, but those guys were the ones who got to try it out. I haven't had my shot at it until my career got started. Boy have I been thrust into it now!

Here's my groove that I've found.
1. Make phone calls first thing Monday morning. Make phone calls PARTICULARLY to set up visits for the week. Once they're all set I actually enjoying visiting; I just can't stand making the calls and put them off and then the visits don't happen either.
2. Work from home Wednesdays. The initial intent was to write sermons or at least get a decent start on it, but sometimes other things need to be done. Last week I worked on a review that was too confidential to work on even at the church. My built in day at home let me get it done without interruption or risk of others reading it.
3. Make phone calls whenever possible. E-mail seems faster, but really it isn't always. It's just easier to pick up the phone, get the answer, check any nuance, and move on.

I still need to work on my staff relationships. It is so hard in this size of church and staff to keep things professional and not buddy-buddy. So hard. That makes it hard for me to offer meaningful and honest critiques of those who work under me. This will soon be coming back to bite me in the butt. Soon and very soon.

OK, so nothing earth shattering, but even in the midst of some CRAP drama at church the last few weeks I have been feeling pretty darn confident about my call to ministry and my effectiveness at it. Love it.

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