Greetings ministry partners and Happy December!
It’s hard to believe that we are in the first full week of December. It seems that just the other day we were just welcoming the summer. Honestly, though, I say something similar every year around this time – so much to get done, but seriously, where did the time go?
If you’re anything like me the holiday season sneaks up on you and then before you know it we are into a new year. As exciting as the new year may seem, for many ministry leaders this time of year may bring about more stress than one might imagine. As the final days of the year tick away, end of year reports are due, next year’s budgets and staff development plans need to be finalized, ministry assignments made and approved, and strategic plans for next year (if you have them) need to be communicated. In addition, we’re in the liturgical season of Advent, which is closely followed by Lent and then Easter/Resurrection season after that. The list seems endless and the hamster wheels of life, ministry, and responsibility continue to roll on.
Although some leaders may have all of this down to a science by now, others – including me – still find themselves caught off guard and somewhat overwhelmed. Not necessarily overwhelmed because of the changing seasons, but because there’s so much to do and seemingly not enough time or energy to get everything done as we might like. In other words, at the end of the year, many ministry leaders feel “stuck” and don’t know what to do. If this sounds like you, then I may have something that interests you as the calendar turns from 2022 into 2023. I would like to bring your attention to the Innovating for Love Cohort that begins in 2023.
Innovating for Love is a six–session interactive experience for pastors and 3–5 lay leaders to explore how their communities can get unstuck, make a fresh impact, and follow God’s dream for the world. Facilitated by Rev. Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean, this virtual cohort will help ministry leaders sort through the fog of ministry and help leaders live more authentically into their God-given calling.
Rev. Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean not only wrote the book on Innovating for Love: Joining God’s Expedition through Christian Social Innovation but also has extensive experience in new ministry development, nonprofit ministry, and social innovation. Kenda is the Mary D. Synnott Professor of Youth, Church, and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary teaching practical theology, education, and formation.
Sometimes what ministry leaders need to become unstuck is to break down the silos that keep us separated. A supportive group to help brainstorm ideas, think through best practices, and test concepts and assumptions will allow new possibilities to spring forth from seemingly dead situations. And guess what, we don’t; have to have it all together by ourselves.
From Innovating for Love:
“Divine creativity practices resurrection: where new life erupts against all odds, we can be sure God is at work, raising the dead. Our job, like John the Baptist’s, is to remove the barriers that get in the way, to make mountains low and rough places plain so that Jesus may travel among us unimpeded. Ministry that does anything less just rearranges the furniture.” (p. 21)
So in this busy season of holidays, programs, budgets, and plans, please know that God is at work in you and through you. Because even if it doesn’t seem like it will come together, trust that God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that you can ask, think or imagine according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20).
Again from Innovating for Love:
“Innovating for love is often maddeningly unstrategic, since our goal is to imitate Christ, not preserve systems.” (p. 48)
So, if you are overwhelmed and need direction, support, and encouragement, the Innovating for Love cohort would love to walk alongside of you to make sense of it all. Register today for the Innovating for Love cohort by clicking here or find more information at ministryincubators.com. Have a wonderful Advent season and many blessings to you on your ministry journey.