Someone asked how the first couple weeks have been going at our new church so thought I’d share a few thoughts here. I’ve met a whole lot of great people. I’m amazed how quickly it feels like I’ve known them for years. What love exists in the body of Christ.
I’ve preached three weeks in a row, which ties my longest stretch in the pulpit in my life. So my family is teasing me that it’s likely to start falling apart around week 4. We’ll see how it goes. 🙂 The good news is I’m overflowing with ideas, inspirations and prayer about what to share with this church. Always discerning what to focus on when and in what order as I get to know the specific context.
Monday mornings are great. It’s quiet in the office and I’ve been writing out most of my sermon by lunch. It’s a great feeling to move throughout the week knowing that piece of my work is almost done. I’m able to be more fully present in meetings, conversations and other work.
I love working with this staff team. Hearing their dreams and helping them take next steps in their goals. And what fun to be a part of creating a culture of hard work, fun, trust and Sabbath. I’m going to enjoy serving with them.
As an associate pastor, much of my work was task driven and fairly easy to accomplish on my own. As a solo or lead pastor, I’m finding about 80% of my work is found in conversations with others. It’s a big change when it comes to scheduling and drafting a task list. I’m trying a couple different things and starting to find a good rhythm.
Ahh boundaries. I knew right from the beginning that I had to set a Sabbath boundary. There’s so much work I would love to do all the time. But if I didn’t set a boundary now, no one would make the decision for me later. So when I leave the office on Thursdays, I don’t answer email or work on projects on Friday or Saturday. I’ll run through my sermon a couple times but that’s it. There will be flexibility in that but the need for at least one day to simply exist and enjoy creation is a commandment, so we’ll do our best to follow this.
It’s going pretty well at home. Wesley and Isabella love our new home and exploring all the parks in the area. Aaron did a great job in his first week as a stay at home dad. He’s noticing all the mom groups around town and wonders if a dad group needs to start up! We decided I would spend most of Friday with the kids while he had some time away. That worked well last week and we were all ready for some family time the rest of the weekend.
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with all the potential and excitement at the church. Every team I get to meet fills me with new ideas and possibilities. But my main task now is to listen and take it all in. Then trust it will come together when the time is right. For those of you who’ve known me for a while, this is some major growth. 🙂
So how’s it really going? I miss St. John sometimes. I miss my brothers in Alaska. I like the weather here (when it’s under 90 degrees). This work is challenging in the best sense of the word. I’m ready for it. And I’m not sure how to ever thank all the people who prepared for me it. Deeply thankful.
Peace my friends, Jenny