Preparation is a consistent part of our Christian life. John the Baptist focused a lot of his attention on “preparing the way of the Lord.” Two of the seasons in the church year, Advent and Lent, are specially devoted to preparation for the great feasts of Christ’s birth and rebirth. As I begin this new season of ministry, I am preparing for it in several ways this summer. I am taking quite a bit of time for training. Through an online course, I am learning about Adaptive Leadership. We have a Desert Southwest Conference team working together to learn how to apply the tools and techniques of adaptive leadership to a problem or issue that doesn’t have an easy straight-forward answer. There are also a number of webinars that have been created for new District Superintendents (DS) on topics like legal issues, supervision, charge conferences and there is a week-long training for new DSs that we have affectionately named Charm School.
Part of my preparation that will last throughout this year is learning about each local church in the district and building relationships with district pastors and congregational leaders. It has been a joy to attend different churches each week and to worship with congregations and pastors I pray for routinely. It is exciting to hear about the ministries of each church, to see how each loves like Jesus, acts for justice and is united in hope. The variety of ways to grow closer to Christ and to serve him by serving others is huge and it’s fun to see that variety across the district. I hope to share some of that with you through the new West District Facebook page and through articles in this newsletter.
Part of my preparation has been finding a new rhythm for my work and home life. I no longer do some of the things that pulled me into the Scripture regularly, so I am having to develop new habits and patterns for Bible study, prayer, and devotions. One of the practices I am making a routine is praying for each church and their pastor(s) by name. As I visit churches and get to know people, I can visualize who I’m praying for. Finding times and ways to read and study Scripture has also been a priority. My husband and I are getting used to the new rhythms in our lives as well. We will be taking some vacation time and I will be getting myself rested and ready for the busy fall season.
All this preparation is for something. It is to help churches and pastors to be the vital places of ministry and outreach. My greatest desire is to help as many people as possible have a vibrant, deep, and fruitful relationship with Jesus Christ, and to encourage and help churches live out their calling to be the Body of Christ with arms that reach out not only to their communities, but to embrace others across the world. I’m looking forward to doing this together.
United in His service,