This week I’m pausing to reflect on my first thirty-five days at First Baptist, and to think ahead toward the next sixty-five. Bill Wilson from the Center for Healthy Churches says, “The first 100 days of a new pastorate are a precious resource that should be thoughtfully and carefully spent by the pastor and the congregation.” The CHC publishes a list of key priorities for pastors and congregations in their first hundred days together. I’ve been keeping an eye on that list as I’ve moved through these first weeks, and want to share with you some of my key priorities and hopes for this important season:
- Keep learning people’s names. (Nametags on Sundays would be such a big help!)
- Identify the 25 key leaders in the congregation with whom I need to have an individual conversation in my first 100 days.
- Conduct individual meetings with each staff member. First 20 days.
- Meet with established groups (Church Council, Committees, Deacons, etc.).
- Visit each Church School class on Sunday mornings. First 90 days.
- Meet with key worship leaders (Sunday morning & Mosaic). First 40 days.
- Establish a healthy pattern of offering pastoral care in conjunction with staff and lay teams. First 100 days.
- Meet at least twice with Search Committee representatives to check in and see if expectations are being met.
- Identify key community leaders with whom I need to meet. Days 50-100. Need congregational help with this.
- Seek out connections with area clergy. Days 40-100.
- Connect with local and state denominational leaders. Days 30-100.
- Continue with Tim the ongoing process of nurturing and strengthening our marriage.
- Help Taylor adjust to his new home in DC.
- Support and care for Lucy (she’s not able to come home from college as often as when we lived in Atlanta).
- Establish a predictable weekly schedule, including healthy work and personal time boundaries. (I’m observing Thursdays as my weekly day off.)
- Exercise regularly.
- Connect with and schedule first meeting with a spiritual director. First 30 days.
- Plan for the eventual move from our temporary apartment into a home in the District.
I welcome your input on these! In all that we do and all that we are, may our first 100 days—and all the years ahead—honor God and embody the way of Jesus.
Grace and peace…