I don’t know about you, but in Minnesota we’re excited for Spring. It’s been a long and snowy winter—the prospect of warmer weather reinvigorates me and inspires me to ponder new ways we can breathe new life into our ministry…
1. Start with your “why.” Before you jump into anything new, it’s important to consider your “why.” What are the motivators that will drive your new practice? Knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing can help you stay focused, motivated, and energized.
2. Plan ahead. Take advantage of the momentum Spring generates by planning ahead. Set goals for yourself and plan out a timeline to fulfill those goals. This will give you the structure and support to move forward in the right direction.
3. Connect with nature. The beauty of Spring is that it brings us closer to nature. Make time for some outdoor activities such as hiking or gardening. Nature has a way of soothing our soul and providing us with much-needed inspiration and ideas. It’s also a great time to consider how we can preserve our amazing creation. Plant some new vegetation, make a compost bin, and look for ways you can reduce your impact on creation.
4. Try something new. Experiment with something new that intentionally takes you out of your comfort zone. This will help you get creative, think differently, and come up with fresh ideas. We decided last year to invite guest musicians to join us for worship in the summer. We also tried to be extra-welcoming when kids arrive at worship, providing a special place for them to hangout, along with some fun activities.
5. Partner with a ministry leadership coach. You may feel stuck in a winter rut and just need a partner to help you feel inspired. We all need someone who can come alongside us to explore new avenues of growth. Seek out a coach who can help you with ideas, strategies, and resources to move your ministry forward.
6. Take care of yourself. Don’t forget to take time for self-care. This includes getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising regularly. This will help make sure you’re in the best condition to tackle new challenges. Spending time exercising is proven to increase focus and boost your energy. I can’t wait to get outside and ride my bike, go for a walk, and enjoy the new life that’s springing up all around.
7. Connect with others. When was the last time you connected with other ministry leaders from your area? This is a great time to reconnect with other colleagues. Join a network of peers who can support, encourage, and challenge you.
8. Give yourself grace. Last but not least, make sure to give yourself grace. Ministry work can be hard, and the last thing you want to do is beat yourself up over a mistake or misstep. Give yourself time and space to learn and grow. Mistakes are an indicator that you’re taking good risks, or that you need to tend to something going on inside of you. Either way, invite the grace of Jesus to overshadow your shame and guilt. Remember, “the old things have passed away, behold, new things have come! (2 Corinthians 5:17).
I hope these suggestions have inspired you to take action and create something beautiful! Happy Spring everyone!
Rev. Dr. Mark Slaughter serves as the Minister of Worship Arts at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN. In addition to his 35+ years of ministry, he received a Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary, Master of Divinity and Church Music from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Music from Belmont University.