YOU ARE INVITED!
What: "Now Is The Time!" Retreat
When: Thursday, January 21st (9AM - 2PM)
Because pastoral leadership is hard, especially right now. We know that many of you are feeling overwhelmed, tired, uncertain, stretched, emotionally exhausted, anxious or even depressed. As congregational leaders you have been pushed to the limits, required to make significant changes in how you live out your calling to care for members, facilitate Word and Sacrament and offer other ministries virtually. You have had to make challenging decisions with constantly changing information.
Yet, in the midst of it all, you have prevailed. God's Word has been proclaimed, members have been cared for and Zoom is either... read more
What we’ve learned about Christian leadership since March
Think back to the seven days between Sunday, March 8th and Sunday, March 15th, 2020. In just seven days, you led a transition from fully in-person worship, complete with Holy Communion, choirs, and packed pews, to fully online worship with Zoom, YouTube, or Facebook.
When we think about the ongoing changes in this time of digital distribution, we would do well not just to focus on the technologies we have adopted, but the transformative steps we have taken as leaders. In those same seven days, you started the transition from a leadership model centered around in-person staff collaboration to a practice of distributed, digital-first Christian leadership.
Digital-first Christian Leadership
A distributed, digital-first model of Christian leadership is... read more
“We have already changed,” I replied.
A friend of mine had begun wondering about her congregation’s future beyond the pandemic.
“Do you think this will change us?” she asked. “It’s just so hard to imagine things being the same after the pandemic.”
We have already changed. And not only on a tactical level. The changes we have undergone go deeper than using our website more or live-streaming worship. How we understand ourselves as church, our core identity, is changing, almost right before our eyes.
“Oh, that’s the church that records their worship service.” Or, “I’ll never give up watching our worship services, but that church across town does a wonderful job of providing web content for my kids. So, we do both.” Or, “Now that we don’t have to ‘go’ to church, we actually get more church now than we did before the... read more
Leaders ask: We are managing the fast current of change, can we sustain this pace in the unknown?
The answer: no. The solution: rest.
8 things Healthy Leaders Do in this Summer of Crises:
In these summer days of weird isolation, even weirder news, it sometimes feels like we are living in a parallel universe. Almost no part our lives has been untouched by pandemic, sickness, isolation, anxiety, grief, awareness of inequity and injustice, or fear and loss of control. Oh Lord, how much more can we take?
Rest is Replenishment
There will be plenty of work to do, no doubt. However, we need to pace ourselves. Pace is as important as passion. If... read more
Mental health challenges in this time
A Conversation with Mental Health Professionals For You
Many of us can’t wait for this pandemic to end so we can get back to normal.
Years ago, an organization I worked for was experiencing severe financial troubles. As the board was wrestling with ways to get out of these troubles, one of the board members stated, “I can’t wait until we find our way out of the woods.” To which another board member commented, “maybe this is the new reality. Instead of trying to find our way out of the woods, maybe we should learn how to live in the woods.” Gulp.
Maybe living in the woods is our new reality. Perhaps the new era of ministry is not a focus on trying to return to some image we have of the past. Just maybe we are being called to be and serve right here in the woods. Maybe we are being called to live among uncertainty, change, foreign landscape and discomfort.
Living in the woods is scary... read more
Do you want the good news or the bad news?? Well, the bad news is that you as a pastor or lay leader are probably challenged in this time. The good news… you as pastor and lay leader may be transformed for mission in this time.
Do you feel like the rules changed in the middle of the game? They did. Gone is the church of yesteryear. Now we are tasked with embracing a new set of circumstances, stressors, challenges, and obstacles, yet we’re finding ways to focus on mission. The dangerous thing that’s hanging in the balance right now isn’t the future of the church. No, what’s at stake is our openness, willingness, and yes… trust to continue to be faithful God’s mission, and not the trappings of the church that have absorbed so much of our time and energy for the last 100 years, and insulated our sense of safety and righteousness.
Church Leadership is... read more
I was at the chiropractor’s office this morning. I explained that my sore back could be attributed (in addition to aging) to bending over weeding my garden yesterday. I also described that I had kicked off my sandals at some point and was barefoot in the yard. The good doctor shared that being barefoot in the yard is good for us- called grounding. It connects us to the natural electromagnetic properties of the earth and has shown in research to be a healthful practice for us shoe loving humans. Okay, I thought. Who doesn’t want to be well grounded?
People ask me, what leaders can possibly offer their people in this time of covid19 pandemic, economic stress and a nationwide sense of unrest calling out racial injustice? We can’... read more
On behalf of our consulting teams of Kairos and Associates and The Joshua Group, I would like to share a message in response to the recent acts that brutally exposed the racial injustice and violence in our nation. We are heartbroken, especially as the George Floyd death occurred in our backyard. This event and the protests that have followed have awakened us that we are called to take a stand.
Our organization’s primary focus is to encourage and empower faith-based communities to claim their missional identity and find the courage to live that out in meaningful ways. We are proud of this work, but we know that there is so much more that needs to be done for the sake of the health and peace of all those who live in those communities we serve.
We, as people of faith and our communities, have not done enough. We have let the oppressive voices have power... read more
Longing for human touch
Phone calls, zoom, Skype, Facetime
But it’s not enough.
How long, how long, oh Lord
You Lord are here, touch me
I cry for all your people Lord
I cry for myself
We are weary, our bones ache
We pray, oh Lord, for renewed strength
We say we’ll get through this
We say we’re in this together
We need to feel Your love for us
We need to feel it in our bones and in our hearts.
The earth has shifted
Our lives have changed forever
I pray for hope, love, and compassion
I pray for strength, strength
In Your abiding love for us
We are not alone. You are with us always
Always and forever, Praise God
By Carma Coon