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Mental Health in a Pandemic: A Conversation for Leaders

mental health, covid19, crisis, church, leadership, leader, Christian, pandemic, depression,

 

Mental health challenges in this time

 
 
One of the many challenges that our faith community leaders are facing is the rising needs around mental health. Many of us are working to be supportive of those in our communities who are struggling with this issue, or perhaps dealing with our own mental health needs. The global pandemic, along with our recent national crisis around racial injustices, has only elevated this reality of increased stress, anxiety and uncertainty. The more we can do to be supportive and provide resources to each other, the healthier we will be together.  
 
 

A Conversation with Mental Health Professionals For You

 

We have enlisted the support of three mental health experts from around the country to be our panelists for a Zoom Conference on Monday, July 13th at 1... read more

Crisis Mentality of Leaders: Are We Out of the Woods Yet?

crisis, leadership, pastor, church, Christian, mission, change,

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

Church Leadership: Changed by Change

pastor, leader, church, change, transformation, council, covid19, crisis

 

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

What can you offer people at time like this? Grounding.

grounded, trust, church, leadership, pastor, mission, God

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

Our Commitment to Racial Equity: A Message from The Joshua Group

racial equity, racism, justice, white privilege, mission, church, leadership,

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

The Earth Has Shifted- A Poem for Our Time

change, pandemic, riots, fear, church, mission, vision, leadership, hope, God

Longing for human touch

Seeking connection

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

Who Else Is Tired of Zoom Meetings? Top 10 of Good Teams

zoom, meeting, council, decision making, team, group, mission, church, leader, leadership, covid19

We are all trying our best to make it through meeting after meeting via virtual meeting software. We are trying to keep alert, pay attention, not make judgements about the messy bookshelves behind Steve or wonder why Lilly doesn’t mute when her dog starts barking. Are we really getting anything done?

 

Teams play an important role in our organizations. They help us to coordinate, delegate, communicate, make decisions, collect important information, complete processes, and get critical feedback. Let’s not forget in this season of virtual team meetings- real work happens with the right people focused together on a goal. When you think of one more online hour slogging through a half-baked agenda, pause and reflect on the following elements of good teams.

 

10 Elements of Groups or Teams Work:

 

  1. Teams need both task work... read more

We Are All Part of A Bigger Body

We all are a part of a bigger body, and we are created for a unique purpose or the health of the larger organism. A beautiful video reflection of our life together. 

 

Kristin Wiersma | Consultant Team Lead | The Joshua Group | email

The Church In Between

church, pastor, change, congregation, vision, covid19, uncomfortable

Even before COVID-19, the Christian church has been living during In Between Times. The uncertainty of our present days adds new dimensions to that divide.

 

For those whose idea of the church springs from experiencing the church of the 1950’s through early 1980’s, church is a communal experience.  The church building was the heart of that experience.  Being together was central to that expression of the church.  We came together to listen to sermons, to be educated and to do projects. It was a highly passive experience of church.  We showed up and church happened. It was a shoulder-to-shoulder experience, physically present for each other.

 

I grew up in a town of 1,200 people and belonged to a congregation with 1,000 members.  In addition to the public school system, the church defined our community because most of us gathered there, heard the same... read more

Being Faith Community in Times of Crisis: Pew Theology

Listening the voices of those people who make up our faith community. Take a moment to hear their stories. 

 

 

A Poem by participant Carma Coon

 

My Morning Prayer

 

Longing for human touch

Seeking connection

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... read more

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