Your First 100 Days in Office

Dear Interim Leader,

Congratulations, you have something to celebrate! You entered this new post just a few months ago. By now, you’re probably beginning to feel a bit at home. New ways of doing things are making more sense to you. Names and faces are less of blur. Navigating your commute is easier. I’m hoping barista at your new favorite coffee shop knows your ‘usual’. Ah, it feels good to be at this spot, doesn’t it not?

Perhaps you’re ready to tackle next steps. Yes? Terrific. But first, do yourself a favor. Write up a 100 days in office report. Take time to highlight what you’ve noticed, wondered out, taken action on, and what you plan to do about it. Write, review, repeat. Do so quarterly, and you’re exit report will be a breeze. Taking time now to reflect on what you’re learning is sure to pay off big dividends.

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few guidelines and writing prompts to help you get started.

List what’s happened in your ministry, narrate the highlights, give credit to those who’ve been helpful, and note areas of concern or focus for the future.  You may wish to follow the outline of your job description or the church vision statement.

Staff culture

Include pattern of staff meetings, celebrations, regular supervision meetings

Highlights: narrative about getting to know the staff, note staffing changes, activities, morale, level of trust, input of members of the team. Give credit where it is due. What is sucking energy from the staff? What encouraging signs are you seeing?

Goals for second quarter: what needs attention, how will you know the goal’s been met, why does it matter?

Worship culture

List sermon series, themes, and special features/speakers, include average quarterly worship attendance data of past few years.

Highlights: narrative describing your perspective on worship leadership, style, what’s working and what needs attention.

Goals for second quarter: will you train new worship leaders, engage children or other groups in a new way?    

Congregational life and pastoral care

List significant events such as gatherings for new people, congregational meetings, new member classes, new members who joined, outreach to young adults, senior adults, any special groups of interest. Baptisms, weddings, memorials.  

Highlights: narrative about getting to know the congregation, its makeup, ministries,       and sense of identity. Share what you’ve enjoyed as well as what you’re still wondering about. Give credit to leaders who have been helpful to you in tending to pastoral care needs of members.

Goals for the second quarter: will you work to strengthen ties with new families? Offer a   new members class? Commit to attending specific fellowship gatherings?

Ministry teams and interim pastor goals

(List the teams you play a role on, what you’ve noticed, learned, or done to contribute, and a goal you may have for the next quarter. The following are simple writing prompts to help you reflect on common areas of ministry; expand or edit as you wish.)

Adults: what input did you have, what input did you seek from others, or propose to       leaders in this area? Did you teach, mentor, offer counseling? Goal: is there a subject or area of discipleship you plan to focus on?

Children and Youth: what input did you have, and what input did you seek from others, or propose to leaders in this area? What strengths are you seeing? Goals: is there a need to recruit more leaders or offer training?

Connect: what input did you have re small groups, fellowship, ways to aid in making it     easier for new people to make connections? You have fresh eyes things like this right now. Be clear about you’ve noticed and why it matters. Goal: is there something you plan to do to strengthen connections?

Mission/Outreach: what input did you offer, and what input did you seek from others,    or propose to leaders in this area of ministry? What policies and procedures are working? Are you seeing any gaps, or areas of need? Goal: Is there a need to feature stories about the impact of mission/outreach? If so, in what ways will you address this?

Church officers: did you offer training, insights, encouragement? Goal: will you recommend mentoring, leadership development or other resources?  

Finances: what input did you offer, and what input did you seek from others, or propose to leaders in this area of ministry? What policies and procedures are working? Are you          seeing any gaps? Goal: is there a fundraising goal to meet?

Facilities and Operations: what have you noticed about the building/campus that needs attention? Who is to be commended for their leadership in maintaining operational needs Goal: is there a specific project on the horizon?  

Personnel: is this team adequately staffed by leaders who understand the needs of the        church at this time? Goals: does the church need to establish staff email and/or social media policy?   

Pastor Nominating Committee: has the PNC been elected, trained, commissioned? What was your role in preparing them to serve? Goal: will the PNC be involved in conducting, writing, sharing the mission study with the congregation and candidates? If so, what is your role in their success in doing so?   

Denominational and ecumenical ties:  what have you noticed about, and in what ways do you plan to participate in strengthening ties? Goal: what is something that needs to be addressed and how will go about it?    

You may wish to conclude with a devotional reflection, scripture passage, or a story        about how you have seen God at work in this season.  Finally, share with anyone who        will offer fruitful feedback. Invite input. Down the road, you’ll be glad you did.  

Contact me if you would like to read a copy of my most recent “100 Days in Office” report.