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New Kid On The Block
One thing to be expected as part of Cru is the need to EMBRACE change and transition. Whether it be a transition from student to new staff, or staff to a new location, or staff to a new role, we have the opportunity to make a smooth and successful transition – or we can royally screw it up by not transitioning well.
As this is the beginning of a new school year, I’m thinking many of us fall into one of those new situation categories.
I’ve observed transitions done well and not so well over the past 25 years (Happy Anniversary to me – my staff award: Blu-ray dvd disc player + some $)! So I thought I’d pass along some common tips to hopefully experience a smooth transition in whatever situation you find yourself in now – or eventually. It WILL happen – you will be the new kid at some point.
Tips for a Smooth Transition (not in order of importance)
1. Have the heart and posture of a LEARNER (much like the 1st year of an ICS assignment – they are students of the culture for the first YEAR).
Caution: this plays out in how words and actions mesh – many have said with their words that they are learners but with their actions just dive into CHANGE. Basically, assume you know nothing!
2. SLOW IS FAST. Change takes time! It takes patience and wisdom to wait and watch and absorb information before throwing in your 2 cents.
3. Relationship builds trust. This being true — realize that you start with new relationships either at a zero balance or maybe even a deficit if you are unknown. You need to make a lot of “deposits” before trust is built with the people you are working alongside. This doesn’t mean being a push-over, it means you pursue people and get to know them. Don’t wait on or expect others to pursue you. Be a question-asker. Nobody really cares what you know until they know that you care. (I did not make up that gem!)
4. Guard very carefully how much you talk about or refer to your school or other staff team or former region. It can come off arrogant and pretentious to constantly talk about where you were and how “we did it.” People are loyal to their campus or region and their own situations — it takes a certain wisdom to use your past experiences to aid in the present but you will set yourself up for failure if you always refer to your past as successful or “the right way” — not even with words as much as attitude.
5. Do whatever it takes on your part to go into and to leave every staff meeting knowing you can look each person in the eye and be in RIGHT RELATIONSHIP! Keep short accounts.
6. PRIORITIZE your time with the Lord over EVERYTHING. With every “level” of influence you have, the “target” on your back grows bigger. The enemy wants to take you out. Set up “guardrails” for success: for your thought life; for dating; for your marriage; for your travel; for staying in hotels; for conversations to stay above reproach; for time with your friends or family; for boundaries (with time and with relationships).
7. Choose to REMEMBER as often as possible, why God called you to this. You will want to quit. Discouragement will come. You need a “marker” to anchor to during those times.
8. CELEBRATE OFTEN! Laugh a lot: it’s good for the soul!
9. Have a special group of people who are your Prayer Warriors. You need this kind of support. I’m not talking about your ministry partner team — I’m talking 5-10 people who will go to battle for you!
10: Be a servant leader. Whether you are leading students or staff, remember how God has called you to lead and influence and that it’s for HIM and no one else.
Change and transition – just part of being a SENT ONE: a missionary.