What Would You Do If You Were New?

When you started working at your church, you saw things that needed to be tweaked, improved, and changed.

Now, some time has passed. You’ve found your groove. Things are going pretty well.

Students are showing up.

Volunteers are happy.

Parents aren’t complaining.

You’re able to give a decent report in the staff meeting.

You hardly ever notice those other things anymore.

The only time you think about the out-dated wallpaper in the restrooms is when a first-time guest asks you where the men’s room is. Other than that, it’s business as usual.

You were able to see things in those first few months that people who have been there longer don’t see anymore. As time goes by, our eyes grow accustomed to seeing things a certain way. That’s why the things that stuck out to you in the first few months don’t bother you anymore. You barely even notice them.

It’s true in your church. And it’s true in your ministry. When you’re new, you notice things. That’s why it helps to come up with ways to get fresh perspectives on what you’re doing.

3 Ways to Get a New Perspective

1. Ask another youth pastor to visit and give you feedback.

This is the “Secret Shopper” tactic. The idea is that you don’t want anyone to know there’s someone there to evaluate what’s going on. If they know, then they’ll probably act differently than they normally would.

For example, I watch Kitchen Nightmares on Netflix. On the show, Gordon Ramsay shows up at struggling restaurants to help them get things back on track. Almost always, the first thing he does is order food. He wants to see what’s being served. And almost always, the cook is made aware that this meal is for Gordon Ramsay. What do you think the cook does? He tries his hardest. It’s not the usual dish that goes out to every other customer. He takes a few extra minutes to prepare it just right.

That’s not what you want to happen. You want people acting normally, just like they always do. That way, the person you invite can get an accurate picture of how things normally operate.

If another youth pastor does things at the same time you do them, then offer to switch places for a day. You can run his program while he runs yours. Of course, this would eliminate the secrecy of having someone there to observe, but it would benefit both of you because you could give each other feedback about what you experienced.

2. Rehire Yourself.

This option takes some time and some thought, but I promise it’s worth it.

Download chapter 1 of Your First 90 Days in a New Youth Ministry

Here’s how it works:

a. Update your resume with current information, responsibilities, and accomplishments.

b. Update the job description for your position to reflect all of the things you’re responsible for.

c. Create a job listing as if your church was trying to attract a new candidate for the position.

d. Interview yourself (Seriously, write down your answers).

What are your 2 greatest strengths?

What are 2 of your weaknesses?

What do you love about youth ministry?

What do you wish you could change about youth ministry?

How would you grow this ministry?

How important do you think it is to partner with parents?

What are 2 ways you would partner with parents here?

What do you think keeps students from attending church, and what would you do about that?

Will you support the leadership and vision of this church?

Which pastors, authors, and churches are you currently learning the most from?

Why are you the best person for this job?

This process will help you discern if you’re still the right person for the job.

Assuming you decide to rehire yourself, you’ll be able to walk back into your office as the new guy on staff. You’ll have fresh eyes, fresh vision, and fresh insight into how to move the ministry forward. Now ask yourself:

What is one way to make the place better?

What is one way to make the preaching better?

What is one way to make the programs better?

What is one way to make the people better?

What is one way to make the promotion better?

3. Call Me.

If you’re still looking for a fresh perspective after you’ve done options 1 and 2, you can always call me. After all, it’s my goal to help you see your potential, develop your skills, and reach your goals. I specialize in 5 areas:


If you would like specific help making those things better, then CLICK HERE to learn more. If you’d like, we can get on the phone for a free 30-minute strategy session to see if we’re a good fit. I’ve helped lots of youth pastors make small changes that get them back on track. I’m sure I can help you too.

Your Move

A few months ago, I thought about selling my car and getting a new one. There wasn’t anything wrong with my car. I was just bored with it. But I still have that car today. Why? When I took the time to think about why I bought that car in the first place, I was able to appreciate it again.

I have a feeling that a lot of youth pastors look for new jobs because they’re bored with where they’re at. Instead of looking for a new job, what if you saw yourself the new guy again?

When you’re new, you notice things.

When you’re new, you’re excited about the possibilities.

When you’re new, you get things done.

When you’re new, you make things better.

What would you do if you were new?

Suggested Resource

Better Youth Ministry Scorecard

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Trevor Hamaker (DMin, McAfee School of Theology) is an author, adjunct professor, and youth ministry coach. He helps youth pastors see their potential, develop their skills, and reach their goals.

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