Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A bit overwhelmed

In preparing for my new appointment (and hence head pastorate) I have been reading up on preaching (trying to be more effective), effective spiritual leadership, new beginnings, forming bonds, etc. Generally, I have not been anxious about the move. I consider myself fairly competant and know I am called and that if I let God work through me and guide me, that things will generally be just fine. At the same time, I have the distinct feeling that I have no idea what I am in for!

I have dealt with a lot at my current church--division, lack of hope, conflict, new beginnings, change in constituency, more conflict, racism, seed planting, vision casting, leadership development, budget shortfalls--a whole array of things, and yet, I have the sense that come July 1st I will be drinking water from a fire hydrant yet again, and that, my friends, is a little bit daunting.

The books I've been reading give all kinds of wisdom and guidance about what to do, what not to do, how to spend your time initially, waiting on making major changes and getting to know the people first. While it's good advice, it's a lot to do at the same time, and in many ways I'm still a novice, oh yeah, and, I'm a do-er. I like to get things accomplished and I have lots of ideas for how we can expand ministries and work in new and different ways, and I'm supposed to put those things on hold for now. Logically I understand why, but practically, patience is not my strongest fruit!

So, for now, it's more reading. Writing down ideas to be saved for later. Working out a schedule of visitation with my new SPRC, and tying up my areas of ministry in my current location.


Kate said...

any advice for helpful books you've read? i'm always eager for more titles...

Deb said...

Sure! Currently I'm reading "A New Beginning for Pastors and Congregations" by Ken Callahan and just finished "Spiritual Entrepreneurs" by Michael Slaughter (I LOVED it--though it does set you up for some utopian notions of things being accomplished). if you haven't read it, "breathing space" by Heidi Neumark is a must. Also, "Deepening Your Effectiveness" by Glover and Lavy is good. My last recommendation (for today) is "The Church Leaders Answer Book"--it's a compilation by a host of folks on lots of good topics!

happy reading!