Week after week comes and goes. Before you know it another year has passed. If you've been in the same church for 5 years or more (which, unfortunately, makes you a bit of an anomaly today) you've probably created some programs, developed some methods, recruited some adult leaders, and found some curriculum that you're satisfied with.
And things are going well-enough - students are reasonably engaged, parents aren't complaining, and you're able to show progress in the weekly staff meeting.
That's fine as far it goes, but it's a safe bet that there are some changes that need to be made. Changes are never comfortable for anyone, but change is a constant reality that we must face and move through or else we'll find ourselves obsolete.
Are there programs in your ministry that need to be reformed?
Are there methods in your ministry that need to be replaced?
Are there leaders in your ministry that need to be released?
Are there lesson plans in your curriculum that need to be revised?
It's likely that the odds are YES.
Have you ever shown up at a new job and seen things happening that made no sense? You probably thought to yourself, "Why are they doing it this way when doing it that way would be so much more efficient and/or effective?"
Of course, if you were a good employee, you made your appeal to the personnel in charge and, hopefully, saw the proper changes take place.
As time moves forward our eyes have a way of growing accustomed to seeing things a certain way. That's why the things that bothered you in the first 5 months no longer bother you 5 years later. You, rightly or wrongly, have moved on to deal with other more "urgent" matters.
But every now and again it helps to gain new perspective on the old mainstays mentioned above (programs, methods, leaders, and curriculum). To do this you could:
1) Hire an outside consultant
2) Fire yourself.
Now that you're fired, take a week or so and prepare your resume. Imagine finding the position on www.churchstaffing.com or some other staffing website. What would the position summary say? How would your group be described? Go through a list of interview questions (possibly the ones you were initially asked). How would you answer them? Why are you the person for the job?
If you can't make your case to yourself, then do yourself and the students a favor and go find something else to do.
Assuming you've convinced yourself that you're the person to get the job done, then rehire yourself!
Walk back into your office as "the new guy." Now ask yourself those same questions re: programs, methods, leaders, and curriculum. You are now in a place where you can make fresh observations, suggestions, and changes to point your group in the direction where it needs to be heading.
This is not an afternoon project. To achieve maximum effectiveness you should take at least a week or two.
What do you say? Leave your rehire date in the comments below so we can stay in touch!