Summary: You may experience a new church attender approaching you with big, sweeping changes they feel are needed in your ministry. They approach boldly and offer grand solutions to all your problems. Though they have not been a part of your fellowship more than a few hours over a few weeks, they feel they have accurately assessed our faults and failures. They know nothing of our history. They know nothing of our culture as a church. Remember this: do not give away the keys.
Here is a similar scenario: You are driving a 15-passenger rental van with two other adults and 12 kids from your ministry. You stop for gasoline and the necessary potty break before carrying on with your trip. A man walks up and assertively shakes your hand with a grip firmer than most. Within 2 minutes of meeting, he has told you his qualifications. He gives you his resume that he feels should breed confidence, yet it only brings skepticism. You have an awkward feeling of a too-slick-to-be-good vibe.
Now that you are entering your 3rd minute of knowing each other, this man insists on having the keys to the 15 passenger van and tells you he is ready to drive these people away. “Trust me. I know where I am going. I have done this before. I am highly qualified, as I just told you, and you will love where I will take these people. OK…? Alright then…”
You are aghast, yet he continues with his hand extended, palm up, clearly wanting the keys to this rental van which holds people you have been given charge and authority over. He insists, “Listen, we don’t have all the time in the world here. I’ve got this. Give me the keys.” Your insides are a mixture of shocked confusion and righteous indignation at his audacity. Your hesitancy causes him to instantly elevate. “Listen. I have driven 15 passenger vans nearly my whole life; I know what I am doing!” Now he starts looking at you with a level of intensity generally reserved for confrontations.
Here is the scenario: A guy or gal has been at our church for a whopping 2 weeks. They approach boldly and offer grand solutions to all our problems as a children’s ministry. Though they have not been a part of our fellowship more than a few hours over a few weeks, they feel they have accurately assessed our faults and failures. They know nothing of our history. They know nothing of our culture as a church. They literally know nothing, except that they know everything.
I have had this experience. I have had a strong personality who is new to our church INSIST that they should be handed the reigns of decision-making and leadership after our first or second meeting. Remember this: do not give away the keys.