Yesterday marked 8 years at NHC for me. I was surprised by the recognition of my 8 years in the first worship gathering. I'm glad I have been here this long. I guess my time here at NHC and the other youth pastors that stick around a while helps keep the average a little above two years. Pastor Steve has been here 15 years as a volunteer. Incredible!
The past 8 years have been a tremendous time of growth for me. I have learned so much about the church and ministry, much more than I have learned in school.
A few things that stand out to me over the past 8 years:
>The growth of NHC
>Moving into our new building
>Watching students learn to own their faith
>Parents grasping that discipleship of their teen is their responsibility
>The growth of our youth ministry team
>The change and growth of our children's ministry and the CM team
>The growth of Trunk or Treat
> The Call's birth, growth and now remodeling
>High percentage of NHC partners involved in ministry (over 90%)
>Changing music styles without a church split (SBC Church Planting) ;)
A few lessons learned:
>Ministry should never be done alone. Always bring someone along in ministry
>Leaders build leaders
>Ministry Teams are the way to go
>The best way to recruit for your team is to have team members "tap" others to join the team
>Don't do events and activities just to do events and activities
>Focus on purpose
>Nip it in the bud, church discipline is vital to church health
I have been blessed to serve with 4 elders in the church who have vision, who want to do God's will at NHC.
I have been blessed to serve with 4 great ministry teams.
I'm also blessed to be married to a wife who is very supportive of my "job" and what I do. It has been a blessing to watch our family grow over the past 8 years. I am a blessed man.
I think the key to longevity at a church, from what I have learned from watching others who have served for a long time at the same church, is to find the church that is a "fit". The "fit" includes finding God's will, knowing the church's "personality" and "traits and trends". A church that goes through pastors like a kids goes through candy in a Pez dispenser would not be a "fit" for me. :)