Have you ever been "the new guy" or "the new gal"?
I'm at InterVarsity's New Area Director Training this week up in Madison, WI. InterVarsity spends a lot of time investing in us as Staff. In a job with low pay and huge pressure, these perks mean a lot. And training feels like a perk.
I've been "the new guy" all year. I don't know my way around the Division or the Region. The rhythms are new, expectations surprising and culture different. I've fumbled and stumbled my way through it and Jesus has done some amazing things for my Staff and for our students.
Being new has some benefits. When you're new, you can create change much easier. You have permission to make mistakes. People listen to you as an inside-outside voice.
But being new also carries costs. Keeping up with the new culture can be exhausting. Frustration can set in. You get tired of feeling like an outsider (because, let's face it, the insider-outsider is still treated like an outsider). And you get tired of feeling like the bar is lowered, like your success is due more to low expectations than high performance.
While we're waiting for the "new" label to wear off, we have to remain patient, have to endure, have to keep moving forward. And we must remember that this is practice, for one day God will make all things new.
What does it feel like to be "the new guy" or "the new girl"?