Well, it’s been a little while since I’ve posted on our new chapter… needless to say things have gotten mind-blowingly busy. Today I had a little break, primarily because our daughter Morgan came down with a fever and we’re home resting. So let me take this opportunity to offer a quick break-down on how the last few weeks have been.
1. I am tired.
The transition from consultant to pastor has begun to catch up with me. As a consultant I had a ton of control over my schedule, but now, it seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. More than any other time in my life, I’m learning just how critical it is to learn how to say ‘no’ to good things so that I’m free to say ‘yes’ to the best things. Have you figured this out yet? PLEASE help me. I suck at it. In the last few weeks I’ve done everything from speaking at retreats to playing in golf tournaments (and getting my nose broken by a golf ball) to making bacon for a staff breakfast. These are all really good things, but I’m stretching myself so thin, I ended up getting sick three weeks ago and I’m still just now recovering. Needless to say, it’s also been incredibly difficult to exercise, which has only added to the feeling of being run-down.
2. I am wrong.
If you’ve been reading this blog since we began our new chapter back in June, you’ll no doubt recall all of my wonderful, brilliant ideas and plans for breaking ‘youth ministry as usual’ and creating a new way forward in the 21st century. Well, that was wishful thinking. It’s not that every notion fell flat–our team of 25 adult volunteer leaders are absolutely amazing; they are the backbone of all we’re doing. But many of the concepts we applied have just missed the target. I had a revelation in the midst of my failure. As a consultant, I would bring fresh perspectives to church leaders, who would then innovate and lead their congregations through pretty significant changes. I guess I figured we could do the same here. BUT, the piece I’ve been missing is what those church leaders had all along. Trust. They are trusted by their people because they’ve been in the trenches with them for a while. I wasn’t the innovator–they were. Just because I’m new on the scene here means that I simply haven’t had the time to build the necessary level of trust that’s required to make big changes. So, in light of this epiphany, my team and I sat down and crafted a way to continue to move forward while positioning trust development as the primary goal this year. We’ve already seen massively positive effects. God is good.
3. I am hopeful. (And really excited)
In the midst of all this craziness–getting sick, getting injured, traveling on a bus for 12 hours, our kids getting sick, not being able to exercise, dealing with all the challenges of ministry–God has poured out unimaginable blessing. The relationships we’re building with students, and with parents are flourishing. We have a good rhythm happening with our staff–everyone is digging in to make this new chapter great. We have new small groups starting, students genuinely interested in exploring the Gospel, and parents committed to partnering with us to make the ministry work. Most nights as I’m falling asleep I find myself marveling about and praying through all that God has been doing. It’s even clearer today that He has an awesome plan for us here.
Thanks as always for going on this journey with us. My apologies for the short hiatus from posting… I’m hoping to get back on track now. Until next week…