Seven suggestions to help welcome Justin as our new minister:
- Pray for Justin, Miranda, and the boys. I suggest making a commitment to pray daily for Justin throughout the duration of his ministry. Once the “honeymoon period” is over and the daily grind of ministry begins, praying will strengthen Justin and his family and will fortify your bond with them.
- Send them a welcome note or email. Just offer a brief note, introducing yourself and/or family, and offering a heartfelt welcome.
- Mention your name on your first several encounters with them. Give them the opportunity to learn your name and, over time, to learn a part of your life story.
- Embrace the uniqueness of Justin. Justin has a distinct personality, a unique set of spiritual gifts and a diverse set of experiences. When the Spirit leads a church to a new minister, the Spirit seldom leads a church to a person just like the previous minister. To compare Justin to any other is to disrespect the Spirit’s role in guiding us to Justin in the first place.
- Be attentive to caring for Justin’s family during the transition and afterward. While we are excited about welcoming Justin, keep in mind that he and his family are going to be dealing with grief of departure even as they are trying to embrace the excitement of a new beginning.
- Speak positively about Justin publicly and privately. One of the ways we bring out the best in our ministers is to speak well of them.
- Involve Justin, Miranda, and the boys. Do not be afraid to treat Justin and his family like any other member; involve them, have them for dinner. Remember Justin and his family have struggles and needs just like you.