Hello again everyone! I so appreciate everyone who took time to read my first blog post (nearly a dozen of ya’ll!) and this is one that has been on my mind since reading a very similar article to it that I found on Pinterest (Yes, I have a Pinterest, and yes, I am extremely proud of it). Bible College does NOT always prepare you for church ministry; it prepares you to teach, preach, and study the Word, but NOT how to do a whole lot more than that.
Now, I’m not downing my alma mater. Liberty University will ALWAYS be my first pick for a Christian college and I DID take classes in Pastoral Duties and Management of the Local Church, but there is a LOT that I did learn that I really wish had been taught in school. Or a heads up would have been nice…
Oh, if you’re in ministry, or on the tech team, you know exactly what I’m about to say and you have a smile on your face as you read this. For those who don’t serve with the tech team as volunteers, ProPresenter is this amazing (no sarcasm, promise!) software that helps you run your services. You can put in motion backgrounds, write “sermon slides” (my name for my Pastor’s notes/Scripture to the congregation), write song lyrics, AND play videos. It is absolutely awesome! However, learning it is a whole ‘nother story. It took me about a good seven to eight months to become proficient with it; in other words, instead of it taking me a couple of hours (yes, that’s right, hours) to prepare four songs, timed announcement slides, a video, and sermon notes, I can now go in on any given Sunday morning and prepare it within thirty minutes or less, depending on whether or not I have to add new song lyrics to the list, change the video(s) out, add something new to the announcements, edit stuff, or whatever else. In cooperation with Planning Center Online, your church services will run like a well-oiled machine.
2. Photoshop/Graphic Design
I have to make a confession: I am HORRIBLE at Photoshop still. I am still trying to get the hang of even understanding how to edit and change things in a graphic I have. I’m planning on spending time this Christmas season learning how to use it. Regardless, I wish that Bible College, and even seminary, would teach students how to use Photoshop. If your church has a graphic designer, consider it an absolute blessing. Few churches can afford one and if you have a (lead or whatever ministry their in charge of) pastor like I do who knows what they’re doing, it pays off. We have some pretty cool stuff that he has designed, but keep in mind, he’s been in ministry for over a decade.
Speaking of graphic design…That’s another big thing I wish more pastors knew how to do. I have been able to find some decent graphics using Pinterest as well as WordSwag, which lets you take graphics that are either existent in their database or from your phone and add words and things like that to them. It’s pretty cool for social media purposes and is a fantastic way to connect with students and adults alike! Anyways, I’m still in the midst of learning to design my own graphics, so if you have any resources or tutorials you would recommend, I’m all ears!
3. Physical Labor
Please don’t laugh! I swear to you, no one ever tells you that ministry will require a lot of physical work, especially if you’re a part of a church revitalization project. The only manual labor I did with the church prior to coming to Crossview Church was years back when I was at another church and got to help move a horse troff to the church from a horse store to baptize people in for an outdoor baptism. THAT was pretty fun and awesome to witness!
I enjoy physical work with ministry because I know that it is going towards the kingdom of God. Painting, using a RugDoctor, and cleaning bathrooms are just a few of things I have gotten to do and have enjoyed doing them! Oh, almost forgot: I also learned how to fix the vending machine. Long story short: the coin receiver was jammed with paper clips, pennies, and paper!
4. Youth Ministry
I love working with the students I have! They are hilarious and enthusiastic young people who genuinely have a desire to learn and know God. Liberty offered classes for those pursuing youth ministry, but I did not take them and really wish I had! The students have taught me so much and have been patient with me as I navigate leading them.
Thanks for reading and I may re-edit this if I think of something else I forgot!