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Month: July 2012

Hold on loosely

TeamMy favorite facet of being an associate is team ministry. I love brainstorming in staff meetings. I am energized seeing pieces come together from different ministry areas for a great mission or event. I get excited when our sermon series, Wednesday night study, youth ministry, and children’s ministry are all teaching the same theme. Being part of something so much bigger than any one of us could do alone, is what it means for the church to be the body of Christ in our communities.

I am blessed to be part of a great ministry team where the staff has mutual respect for one another’s ministries. We lean on one another’s expertise, and cover for other’s weaknesses. We celebrate together when things are going well, and surround the one who is struggling with love and support. Our lead pastor makes the final call (as a good leader should), but we collaborate on just about everything. Not only is this my favorite way to work, I believe it is best for our congregations. But I confess, it is not always easy.

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3 tricks to multi-tasking for non-multi-taskers

I am not a multi-tasker, at least not naturally. I function much better when I give the lion’s share of my focus to one task until it is complete. As an associate though, I have little choice. There are always several balls in the air at the same time – worship, youth ministry, discipleship groups, pastoral care, counseling, mission trip, continuing education… Ironically, I can juggle literal balls, but struggle with the figurative ones.

I try to prioritize, but because I am not a multi-tasker, my energy sometimes flows toward the less urgent, then have trouble getting back to the pressing. At the end of the day, I sometimes find many tasks worked on, but none complete, or at least not to my liking. If I stay in that cycle, I can become overwhelmed by my to-do list, and frustrated with the quality of my work.

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Breaking the negative cycle

Does anyone else remember playing Paperboy in the arcades?

When I was thirteen or fourteen, I entered the workforce as the world’s worst paperboy – honestly, I was better at the video game. After that I pumped gas, made fries at Burger King, unloaded and loaded trucks for a commercial dairy distributor, and for a couple of years drove a limousine (which is not as cool as it sounds. I mostly drove station wagons to and from Newark Airport). Sometime during the dairy or limousine years, I began to notice a pattern of negativity.

At each job I worked, the employees thought we knew how to do the bosses job. We, the mostly high school aged employees of the King, talked on breaks about all the things the managers did “wrong.” We dock-workers, moving milk around the dairy, convinced one another over lunch we knew how to run the business more smoothly. We chauffeurs would sometimes bump into each other at the airport waiting for a flight, where the conversation would quickly turn toward ways we could improve the company. Those not running the organization seemed convinced we knew better, and were eager to share. Like a black hole drawing everything into itself, the negativity claimed the majority of the workforce at each of those jobs.

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