This season of intense yet innovative faith formation looks nothing like the job description I was given when I was originally hired. What about you? Each of us brings something more to the table once we get our sea legs under us after the first year. When we dock our fishing boat at a new harbor we are given that original job description, then we typically don’t see it again. Understanding church culture, I got into the habit of updating my job description, even if only for myself, each year in January.
In that update, I assign percentages of how much time it takes weekly to accomplish each task with many bullet points assigned “seasonal”. Each year we learn new skills, adjustments take place in organizational charts, new services or buildings or leadership are added to the mix. All affect how we live out our roles and the realistic time it takes. I’ve heard of churches making a person’s job description a one-liner, but it’s not been my experience. My one-liner might read, “to create safe, irresistible and transformational experiences for children to love the Lord their God with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength, and love their neighbors as themselves for their whole lives.”
We are naive to think that local churches aren’t going to be making changes in the weeks and months to come. Changes in leadership, budgets, space, updates to organizational charts, processes, systems, security, safety, school schedules, all have a part to play in the rhythm of church world. Rather than waiting with anxious breath and fear taking up space in your head, take an hour this week to take a fresh look and edit your job description.
No one knows what you do, but you. Make it a matter of prayer and release your leadership from knowing all that you do or how long it takes to do it. They already have in their heads what you do and it’s not even close. In all fairness, we don’t know what all they do either, and that’s okay. Don’t get caught in the comparison trap or the weeds of disappointment.
I spent time with a dear Kidmin champion recently who lost her admin and her part-time hours were cut in half. There is no animosity. She gets it. Her only instruction for what she should focus on moving forward was, “Just pick something and do it really well.” Well, part of her original job description included Safe Sanctuary compliance for the entire church, all-church special events, as well as all family ministry education in addition to typical children’s ministry tasks. Just since March she’s added online weekly children’s moments which include script writing for others involved, weekly recording and editing film, coordinating weekly practices for online church, parking lot kids events, an online family ministry presence, personal visits and various connections to her volunteer team and her students. How does she just pick something?
Re-writing her job description of what she is doing before the cuts can help her partner with her leadership to choose and communicate priorities #1, #2, and #3 moving forward. It’ll give her and them a starting point to move forward to organizational health. They already have in their heads what #1 is. What if her #1 is their #52 or wasn’t even on their radar? Remember, the goal is organizational health. Her personal goal is ensure ‘surely goodness and mercy shall follow her all the days of her life,’ and wholeness.
What are you doing and how long does it takes to do it? A fresh look at your job description will help. One way it’ll help is to see how far you’ve come, what you’ve learned, and the amazing way in which you have pivoted to continue sharing Jesus in fresh, new ways. Insert the well-earned confetti cannon here!
Where you are in September 2020 is way different than where you were in September 2019, and it’ll look differently in September 2021. Fix a cup of something warm and tasty and take an hour this week to update your job description, even if just for yourself. Editing your job description now will help you and your leadership prioritize when and if any adjustments need to be made in the future.
You Just Gotta Know: Struggles and challenges look differently today. I’m standing in the gap for you. Perhaps you are facing your Esther moment, your Daniel moment. That moment when you feel a push to bravely speak up, wave the banner for your families with a louder voice, even fight for spaces and places to love your kids to Jesus. I’m standing in the gap in prayer and support for you. This blog post is the result of someone reaching out. I fully believe God wants to hang your picture in the gallery of faith between Hebrews 11 and 12. Can I help? Need a Mordecai or a Shadrach or Meshach to your Abednego? Let’s share the journey, the struggle, and the celebrations. You are in the World’s Toughest Race! I’m on your team! Let’s give ’em something to talk about! If you can get to me, let’s do tea on my back porch. Who’s in? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3-6