"I want this move to be the best I've ever had. How I start determines so much about my first year of ministry. My first year of ministry impacts not only my current church, but my family and my future. I want this to go well so that my next move goes well, too."
- Me back in 2015
While the Gospels make clear Jesus is Lord over the seas and the Church, most people in ministry know that the water level of the local church rises and falls based on the presence (or absence) of faithful, effective, and grounded clergy leaders. If you are for the local church, and all of the life-giving ministries that happen through her, you must be for the women and men who serve her as pastors. This is not a move away from Jesus, the Holy Spirit, or the ministry of all believers; quite the opposite. An emphasis on caring for and guiding clergy and their families acknowledges the Great Commission of Jesus, relies on the power given through the Holy Spirit, and is intended to equip all the saints for the ministry of the Kingdom.
It has been in my transitions from one place to another that I have been most in need of returning to the fundamental question of ministry and life, Who Am I? Moving prompts inward reflection. My first word would be to return to this question often, and seek trusted persons to join you in probing its depths. Effective ministry is grounded in a sense of being God's Beloved. That is not something that can be maintained without grace (and grace-filled effort).
Beyond the internal work, there is a place for the practical. Everything below is intended and offered as a gift to friends and colleagues as guidance on the journey of ministry, especially as ministry finds you in the midst of moving.
Many of these sections offer practical ideas, and most are commonsense. You have surely heard or done most of them. I want that to be the case. When I hear something that makes me think, "I knew that," it triggers an internal sense of recovering a truth I put away and needed to find again.
Grace and peace to you in the chaos of these days of serving faithfully while also waiting patiently (or not-so) for the next thing to arrive.