Donna Hostetler, July 14, 2015
It was July, 2013 and it was a week of amazing temperatures, glorious afternoons in the sunshine by the beach, and beautiful sunsets over the waters of Maui. The golf courses were inhabited with happy golfers playing out their 18, including my husband. And then the forecast changed. Tropical storm Flossie is headed our way! The morning of the anticipated storm was as beautiful as any other with the sun shining brightly. But meteorologists repeatedly recommended preparing with supplies and safe shelter as they forewarned of potential damage, electrical outages and flooding. WHAT?
By 4:00 p.m. we were in an area of the island without electricity watching torrential rain, extreme tides, flooding streets and palm trees bending with raging winds of 70 mph.
In the church, sometimes storms hit and take their toll. It may be the result of a leadership transition, conflicts, or lack of vision and declining growth. Are you prepared?
Springtime and summer often brings about leadership changes. In helping many churches through children’s ministry leadership transitions, we’ve realized that the longer the vacancy, the greater the repair as there may be volunteer fall out, an absence of new programming initiatives, or a perception of lack of support for the ministry. As the meteorologist suggested, it’s time to PREPARE for the “children’s ministry Flossie.”
This interim between leaders is an opportunity to prepare well by clearly defining the best profile for him/her, evaluating programs, facility needs or team design, and communicating high value of the ministry to engaged volunteers. Changes in some of these areas may be best before the hire, making your opportunity more attractive rather than challenging. The growing need for children’s ministry leaders and a lack of qualified candidates may create a longer than desired transition. If you are looking for someone, take advantage of the time to evaluate and prepare for them!