Top executives from Fortune 500 companies offer sage advice about the First Day On The Job in this article and it’s all about curiosity. The same could be said for ministry – professional or your everyday variety.
Fortune 500 leaders advise this:
- Don’t be intimidated. (Even though you’re new, come in ready to learn.)
- Learn every day. (You don’t know everything no matter how seasoned you are.)
- Ask questions. (Be willing to learn from everybody.)
- Focus on relationships. (Building trust creates a team.)
- Be patient. (You might have to ask proactively for feedback if you aren’t getting any.)
- Put yourself in the customers’ shoes. (It helps focus on what people really want.)
For those of us engaged in ministry, curiosity always makes us better leaders, When starting a new job/program/project/team/mission:
- Don’t be intimidated. (If God has called you, it’s going to be fine.)
- Learn every day. (Acquaint yourself with the resumes of your team. Expect to learn from them.)
- Ask questions. (“Why?” is the best question of all. Why do we do it this why? Why has this been our practice?)
- Focus on relationships. (Be authentic.)
- Be patient. (It takes time to shift a church’s culture.)
- Put yourself in your neighbor’s shoes. (I guess we could say that our neighbors are also our ‘customers’ but most of all, be partners with those we serve. Jesus served alongside the poor, the sick, the oppressed. Be like Jesus.)
Last week, I was honored to spend three days with some of the newest pastors in my denomination. We’ve been together for the last three years, gathering for two retreats per year. Last week was our sixth and last retreat.
What makes these not-so-new-anymore pastors so extraordinary is that they are curious human beings. They are not know-it-alls. They know the value of taking further classes and reading books and studying.
I know seasoned pastors who haven’t taken a class in years. They only attend conferences if they are the leaders. They come into most situations believing they already know what they need to know. Their ministry is stagnant.
The future of effective ministry is curiosity. Being curious about everything from the people we serve to the people we work alongside to the world in which God has placed us is everything.