Where We Have Been, Where We Are Headed
I don’t know about you, but last few weeks are a complete blur to me. Much has happened and it almost seems as if the end of the Christmas and New Years seasons are a relief… allowing me to get back to a normal pace. I am also excited for the start of the year, as I am diving into a few new projects that are pretty exciting to me. Let me share a little bit of what I am talking about:
Where We Have Been
Since Thanksgiving, it seems like we have been all over the place! Thanksgiving started with the family pilgrimage to Hatteras Island, and wrapped up with having breakfast with some new friends (you really ought to check out Becky Smith’s blog… just sayin’). Once we got back we dealt with a minor touch of pestilence (antibiotics helped). Once we were assured that the plague (or whatever it was) had passed, I had the opportunity to host an amazing work team from Western Pennsylvania as they spent the week before Christmas helping with Sandy recovery on the South Shore of Long Island. Then came Christmas.
Christmas this year was somewhat different for us as it was the first Christmas since Pete, my father-in-law, had passed. We had an intentionally quiet Christmas, exchanging gifts and sharing a meal with Theresa’s brother. I made prime rib, french onion soup, mashed potatoes, and carrot vichy, and then we had cheesecake for dessert (at the risk of turning this into a foodie blog, let me just say… I outdid myself). Theresa and I were deeply touched by the number of friends who checked in with us this year, asking about how we were doing, and how Theresa is processing her father’s passing. We are incredibly grateful for all of your prayers throughout these last few months.
Theresa and I also had the opportunity to make a last minute trip to see the Washington Redskins beat the Cowboys and make it into the playoffs. I realize that this may sound incredibly shallow and un-spiritual, but it is exciting to see the Redskins be relevant again, even more exciting to watch them beat the Cowboys, and really cool to win the NFC East. The fact that we went with a former student, and current friend, made it all the more special. I really hope the Redskins go far this year.
Where We Are Headed
2013 is shaping up to be an interesting year for us. When we moved to Long Island to care for my father-in-law, we realized that this may be a temporary move for us. Having intentionally not made any decisions on what is next for us over the last few months, we are now shifting our focus and actively seeking out what God is calling us to in this next season of ministry for us. We have no idea what this will look like, and are being as careful as possible to be open to whatever, but we are all sorts of excited about discovering where he is taking us. While parts of our coming journey are still unknown, what is known are a few of the projects that I am going to be working on over the next few months.
Church Simple is continuing to build momentum, and I am excited by success that we have been having with our coaching cohorts. Beginning in February we will be partnering with a denomination and launching three new cohorts aimed at helping pastors become better disciple-makers and leaders within their church context. This is a big opportunity for us, and we are excited to be able to come alongside so many church leaders. I am also working with a handful of churches, helping them develop and implement their assimilation processes, revitalization strategies, and operational structures for church plants. I’d love to help you, too (yes, that was a blatant sales pitch. No, I won’t do it again)!
That brings me to a project that I am super excited about. A few months back my friend Todd Rhoades and I began an attempt at a podcast that we called The Filter. While we had a blast doing it, the overwhelming feedback was that it was just too long. Because Todd and I are men of the people, we have heard your cries and have shifted the way that we are going to do things. Beginning tomorrow we will be launching Ministry Briefing. Everyday Todd and I will be sharing two five minute videos discussing ministry stuff. We have done a handful of these already, and we are excited with the potential that this project has to begin conversations among church leaders. Church Thought subscribers will notice that there will be two or three posts a day, each weekday. Todd and I would love to hear your feedback on Ministry Briefing as we attempt to facilitate deeper conversations within the church leadership community.
I don’t know about you, but I am really looking forward to the year ahead.
What are YOU most excited about for 2013?