A pastor wrote:
“What are good ways to accomplish “learning new skills on the job? I formed a team of lay people who were tasked with visioning a new avenue of ministry for our congregation, which would (and has) included a hiring process. None of us had any prior experience on this front and so we’ve spent a great deal of time “muddling through.” Everyone has been okay with this, but I personally have found it frustrating at times.”
Reinventing the wheel takes a lot of time. It’s much easier to go to the store and buy a wheel, slap it on whatever it is you’re trying to move, and get moving!
If I were coaching this pastor I would ask them:
Who do you know that has already done what you’re trying to do?
Solomon told us that there is nothing new under the sun. How true. The longer I coach pastors and church leaders, the more I see that that there is seldom a challenge the church faces that somebody has not already faced it, navigated it, and come out the other side.
Identify one or two such people and either buy them lunch or a cup of coffee. If they live out of town arrange a phone call. Connect with them and describe what is it you’re trying to work through. Ask them questions like:
1. What did you do right?
2. What did you do wrong?
3. What would you do differently?
4. How was your situation different than ours?
5. What advice would you give me?
Take the result of this meeting back to your team and develop a new plan based on experience, not guess work.
Finally, it is situations just like this where it is good to bring in a coach or church consultant. Check out: 20 Ways I Can Help Your Church.