Yesterday marked my 5 year anniversary at Brookwood Church. I was a wide eyed, 21 year old when I got hired at Brookwood and it was an awesome story of God really teaching me to rely on him in a pivotal point in my life. But boy did I have a lot to learn. There are so many stories and ideas of things that I’ve learned from my time working at Brookwood, that I wanted to try and paint a picture, in a very general sense, of what I’ve learned.
These are 5 of the biggest shifts I’ve made since being employed here.
5 things I’ve learned since I’ve was hired at Brookwood Church
1. It takes a long time to make a big difference
There are very few instances of big change happening in a short amount of time. If there is one thing that I learned it was that building a positive reputation is something that you are always working at. When the time comes to add your voice, your reputation, which is built over time either adds or takes away from what you have to say.
Don’t focus on making a huge splash, instead learn to ride in pattern with the tide, then when the Spirit leads, push against the flow and your reputation will add to your credibility.
2. Living above reproach is hard work
It’s a call for everyone, regardless of church position or lack thereof, but it’s a 24/7 365 job. Holding back when being criticized, not going on blast in the social media world, second guessing conversations, leaning into Jesus instead of things that make us comfortable. Being an example all the time. What adult in their right mind is looking at a young 20 something and thinking “I hope I turn out like him/her.”
That is the call on my life. I’ve struggled with it and probably always will. But ultimately, I know God is calling me to be a leader, not me. Setting yourself up to live as an example is hard. But the gaps that Jesus fills in your life is fulfilling to say the least.
3. Safety is more important than fun
I love having fun. Seriously, it’s well…fun. But providing an environment that is safe first and fun second will provide you a lot of trust with parents. Some of the worst conversations were revealing my lack of desire for safety while sacrificing fun. I was not a fan. Now it’s funny to think about the conversations I had compared to the ones I’m having now.
I recently had a conversation about camp with a parent who is a lawyer who deals with cases of parental and organizational negligence when it comes to safety measures not taken properly with children. He grilled me about the summer camp we’ve got planned. Emergency situations, nurses, lifeguards, policies and almost anything else you can think of, he asked it. I laughed thinking about how I had thought through almost everything he asked and felt prepared when answering him.
You must understand that a parent wants their kid alive more than they want a smile on their face. (Take this quote however you’d like 🙂 )
4. Spending time with God is sometimes harder when working for a church
Some people think that if you work with a church you will automatically become closer to God. Or that the people working in a church are closer or will always be closer to God than you. HA!
Don’t get me wrong, I have some humongous opportunities to see God working in the lives of families in my ministry, but developing my relationship with God and His influence in my life is my responsibility.
Here are some reasons why it’s tougher for me personally:
- finding balance between personal devotion and study for sermons
- seeing behind the curtain and being hurt
- dealing with church people gets you down
- planning and dreaming about ministry rather than my family
- seasons of ministry (fall kickoff, summer camps, Christmas, and Easter) versus seasons of rest (Spring Break, October, and a week during the summer)
- not looking outside of your church for help
5. Jesus works in the local church
- I’ve seen hundreds of kids impacted with the gospel
- I’ve seen families restored
- Kids from broken families found healing
- Kids serving in ministry now working in ministry
- We’ve built water wells, over 50,000 food items to our community, freed a few hundred slaves from India and supported a church plant that just had over 900 at their Easter services
- People that are now leading in ministry that were on the sidelines
- People responding to God’s voice
- Families making an impact in their community
All of these just at Brookwood Church and that is a small amount of the things that just stick out and I know the specific results. I’m a fan of my church. Like every church, it’s got people in it and it’s not perfect, but God is working here.
I’m thankful that Brookwood has given me an opportunity to learn and grow as a leader.
I’m thankful that God uses people like me, who have no idea what they are doing and allows them to see life change and growth in my personal life and in my ministry.
What have you learned at your stay in your current church?
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