How To Start Something New

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This Sunday will close out a little 3 week experiment we’ve been testing out in the middle school ministry at our church.  The program is called Dive Deeper and it’s really simple.  We meet for an hour and a half at one of the local pools.  45 minutes of the program is dedicated to swimming and hanging out, while the other 45 minutes is a reflection (we look at the Psalms) followed by small group discussion.  Prep is minimal, all the work goes into inviting the teens and getting the word out.  Going into Dive Deeper I wasn’t sure what we would get; however, I’ve been more than pleasantly surprised with the turnout and participation.
There are going to be the times in your ministry when you feel like you need to do something new (Or even have to). But, that feeling isn’t always a confident and exciting feeling because new can be scary.  Creating a new program, event or system can be overwhelming because it means change.  And, when we allow the anxiety and fear to overtake us we end up abandoning ideas that could have been life changing.  You can’t let that happen, or else the ministry won’t grow.  So, how do you overcome the fears and obstacles to do something new?

  • Take Baby Steps – As I mentioned before, Dive Deeper was a three week experiment.  Could we have done six?  Yes.  However, we felt three weeks would give us enough material to evaluate, without overcommitting.  It can be a horrible feeling to discover that something you’ve committed to for long term, stinks.  When you create something new, give it a time table and make sure it’s not too much.
  • Build A Team – Never go into unknown territory on your own.  The more minds you can have in the creative process of a new idea, the better.  People on your team will fill in the gaps, push you forward and share the burden.  Plus there is nothing better than creating something new with people you trust.
  • Embrace The Imperfections – It’s not going to be perfect, especially since it’s the first time.  Instead of deeming the flaws as a sign of failure, look at them as places to improve.  When something is a flop you’ll know and people will tell you.  Take the imperfections, note them and move on.  People tend to give grace when something is new.
  • Take A Break, Then Analyze – After the program or event is complete take a break to relax and recover before you start to analyze.  Allow the emotions and thoughts to grow and breathe.  By doing this you give yourself a clearer picture of what you endured.

When you create something give yourself permission to fail.  Worst case scenario is that you never do it again.  The best part when it comes to trying a new project or initiative is that you practice working outside the box.  Taking risks is one of the best ways to help your ministry grow; therefore, don’t be afraid to do something different.

What is a new idea you’ve implemented in ministry?