As I'm reviewing my first summer as Executive Director of Camp of Champions USA, here are some things I learned (at least I hope I did):
When you're leading, you have to know that things are going to go wrong. You can't take those things too personally or it will cripple you. On the other hand, if you have a cavalier "welp that was going to happen" attitude you won't actual care for people. The best way I can explain the balance is: Take things seriously without taking them personally.
Communicate. If you're leading anything you probably need to communicate more and better. Years ago I heard an Executive Director of another camp say "It may be possible to over communicate, but I have yet to see it." I agreed with that statement before, but I think I'm in the process of believing it now.
As you grow up in a ministry your roles and duties change with each position. At COCUSA, I've gone from being super-hands on as a summer staff member, to balancing being with kids and overseeing three sites as a Regional Director, to now figuring out the role of an Executive Director. At times this summer it felt like my only job was to keep the proverbial train on the track: Just keep kids safe and keep our focus on the Gospel. I hardly got to "do ministry". But I think I learned this: Keeping the train on the track is ministry. If the train falls off the track (through a hurt child, a lack of Gospel-focus) then there is no ministry. Therefore, more than the "up-front friendly guy that every parent knows" I actually settled more into "quality control guy" role.
My job gives me great opportunity to be able to pause for this type of reflection. Even if yours doesn't, you need to make time to do it. An unreflected and unreviewed life lacks focus and direction. When will you take some time to pause and reflect on your life and ministry?