For what it's worth:
- Wait at least 6 months before making any major changes. (This one can seem super difficult because you will see many things that you would like to change--some might be "needed" and others may only be a matter of preference for you. Trust me, it's worth the wait. In part because time will show you what truly is needed versus your simple preference. The time will also give you time to know your people and get them on board for those changes that are necessary).
- Get to know your people! Take the time to meet with them (share a meal!) and learn their stories. They can tell you about the church if they want to, but really, the initial meeting is for you to learn about them. It's their time, let them use it as they wish.
- Be humble. Your people have been at the church for awhile, they know the city, they know the customs, they know the history and the history is as important as the future you will forge together. You are learned and have a lot to bring, but so do they....don't forget that.
- Stay one step ahead. It is important to acknowledge and use the knowledge and gifts of your people, it is also important to be ahead of them in as much as you can. Not that you need to be a know it all, but they will ask about former members, or homebound members, or city issues, and the more you know, the better off you will be. If you have already visited Joe and can tell them a current report of how he is doing, they will know you care about them and their friends and are truly invested.