Recently, I asked some of our LifeWay Women trainers to answer two questions. The first one was, “Describe a rookie mistake you made when you were a new leader.” The list was not necessarily surprising, but there were several common threads I noticed. Here are a few of their responses:
“My rookie mistake has been allowing the pressures of ministry to pile up on my shoulders without having an outlet to say no. It’s easy to become so busy doing things for Jesus that we forget to actually confide in Him, steal away time with Him, and do what He has called us to well.”
“My rookie mistake would be not allowing a brainstorm to be a brainstorm. I would just jump to changing and conclusions without hearing the whole idea from the team about an event. I learned I needed to listen more, take back to my office what I’ve heard, and then implement what was necessary.”
“Not necessarily a rookie mistake but something I am constantly evaluating is what I say yes to and what I say no to – both personally and with what we do as a ministry. So this is something I am constantly learning because ministry seasons and life seasons change.”
“My rookie mistake was not finding ‘safe places’ or people that I could confide in about challenges and even joys of first starting out in ministry. I wasn’t sure who I could trust without violating confidence and my pride really got the better of me.”
“Trying to meet a need that no one felt they had. I didn’t do enough research to ensure there was a true need.”
“Yes to the mistake of taking on too much too soon! Fix it all, solve it all, build it all . . . do one thing at a time and do it well.”
“My rookie mistake was trying to start too many things at one time. I learned to be patient, prioritize, and build one thing at a time well.”
“I’d say my rookie mistake (just one of many, I’m sure!) was overestimating the importance of fresh and new over tried and true. Learned not to underestimate the privilege and blessing of seeking wisdom from older women.”
“My rookie mistake was trying to do everything on my own, not delegating, and not relying on my amazing volunteers!”
“I failed to educate myself on how to communicate effectively, passionately with purpose and to obtain results with male leadership.”
Do you see the common threads? Here are three take-aways I got from these leaders.
- Be careful about what you say “yes” to and learn how to say “no” when appropriate. Prioritize and be careful about proceeding slowly.
- Surround yourself with capable people. Develop an effective leadership team. Enlist people to help you in your weaknesses. Learn to listen to various voices, but ask the Lord to help you determine the next step.
- Keep learning. Be a leader who continues to learn. Take a class. Read a book. Listen to a podcast. Most of all, spend time in God’s word and listen for His direction.
What would you add to this list of rookie mistakes?
Kelly King is the Women’s Ministry Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources and oversees the YOU Lead events. Join her this year and get to know her heart for ministry leaders. Follow her on Twitter @kellydking.