Thursday, October 29, 2009

Getting Ready to Transition

When I took over Children's Ministries at Morning Star three and a half years ago, my goal had been to develop my team to the point of me stepping back to part time to start a family in three years. I think the reality of reaching that goal still hasn't struck me. There were several times over these past few years that I didn't think we'd make it. The thought that I'd never be able to have kids crossed my mind a few times. But now, I'm just two months away from working only 12-15 hours a week (and then one more month until I take a two month maternity leave). Wow.

While the official transition has just begun, we've really been transitioning for three years. In that time, we've had four different staffing combinations. But each change has moved us closer to our next transition. My team is amazing, and I fully trust their abilities to run their programs. But no matter how great Lucy, Jared, Jan and Mackenzie are, our change would be impossible without the support of my Executive Pastor.

In January, I brought up that Nolan and I would like to start a family, but needed to know if I'd have a job after having a baby. Ken wanted to know how soon I was talking about. The next week, I brought it up again, asking if he'd thought about it at all. The response was, "Wait, you're meaning you want to do this soon?" The next week his answer was, "Why are you in such a hurry? You just got a dog, enjoy some kid-free married life a little longer. You're young." (All this was said in a lighthearted tone. I could tell Ken liked things the way they were.) The next week I provided him with a staffing proposal that lined out what each of our current salaries are, what they would be after the change, and what our job descriptions would be. And the week after that, Ken told me he was ok with my plan, but he wanted me to do research on how other Children's Ministries directors have transitioned from being a kidless director to a director and a mom.

As I looked around online (Kidology, google searches, blogs, etc.) I found that there are very few things written about this kind of transition in Children's Ministries leadership. So, either most women in my role began it after having babies, stopped working when they had babies, or just haven't posted their experience online.

Our transition is obviously very unique to Morning Star, but I think I've learned some valuable lessons along the way, and maybe someone else can benefit from them. My next few posts will be about how we're transitioning. And oh, does it excite me to be writing these! It's all a testimony to what God has provided for us.

2 comments:

Natalie said...

hooray! That is so exciting!! I will be praying that the transition goes smoothly, but you are right! You have a great team in Jared, Lucy, Mackenzie & Jan. :)

Anthony Prince said...

Jill!
I've been waiting for a few follow-up posts to this... any waiting in the wings?
One of my coordinators is going through the transition you're talking about (obviously on a smaller scale - she only coordinates a part of our kid ministry) and I'd love to share your thoughts as a resource to her!

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