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Trusting in a New Day

By John Daniels

I recently wrote an article describing some of the ways the pandemic is changing the way we do church.  I concluded the article with the trust lessons I have both learned and continue to learn.

I was reminded of my first team building experience with a trust fall.  I was the first to volunteer to fall into the trusted hands of my group and it was an easy and fun experience.  I was not prepared for what was to follow, changing the position from the falling person to the group doing the catching was a tough transition.   Suddenly the immense responsibility of catching someone started weighing on me.  What if a team member doesn’t pay attention? What if someone thinks a slight “oops” in the catch would be funny?  What if everyone at the same time thought someone else will do the catching?

Trust requires action.  I have experienced new understandings of trusting God to be in control of his Church and his world in this crisis.  I would also hope that God and the church I serve have found me to be trustworthy.   I need to be prepared to get the team ready to make the catch when hearing the command “fall.”  I do trust God in this pandemic and I thank him for the gifts and the grace required to be ready for the catch.

These thoughts above are from John Daniels, our associate partner based out of Wilmington, North Carolina. His primary focus is working alongside churches in administrative challenges and opportunities. For more information about how he can help you, contact him at jdaniels@fbcwilmington.org.

Learning in a New Day

By John Daniels

Mid-March rocked my world.  We closed the church office for what we thought was a multiple week pause only to discover that a few weeks would turn into months.  Things are different!

How can we continue to do the business of the church?” became the question that needed an immediate answer.  Months later I realize that I am continuously asking and answering that same question.  When the regular framework for doing the business of the church is interrupted, we are forced to learn new things.  Learning how to increase our digital presence in the world, learning how to work from home, learning how to conduct a Zoom committee meeting, learning how to make a calendar that is flexible, learning how to streamline communication, the list goes on and on.

This COVID-19 transition has lasted longer than I hoped, yet it has lasted long enough for me to learn new things and ask new questions.

  • I have learned that availability is necessary, but it does not mean that I have to be tethered to a desk at the office.
  • I have learned that connection is necessary, but we do not have to see each other in person or shake hands for it to be real.
  • I have learned that calendars and TTD lists are important, but getting things done well with intentional priority are necessary in this time of transition.  Policies and procedures are indispensable, yet there are times that call for extra ordinary solutions to problems that may arise.
  • I have learned that God truly is in control of the church and her resources.  I have come to realize that prior to coronavirus the business of the church had become route and forcefully scheduled.  I now find a new peace and joy with making sure that necessities get done that require effort, time and some tender loving care.

I wish I could predict what comes next, but one thing I know, I must continue to learn and trust God.

These thoughts above are from John Daniels, our associate partner based out of Wilmington, North Carolina. His primary focus is working alongside churches in administrative challenges and opportunities. For more information about how he can help you, contact him at jdaniels@fbcwilmington.org.

Hopefulness in Email

After my last post, it has caused me to be more hopeful with my email inbox. So many times in the busyness of each day, I see my emails as a bother or an interruption. I constantly remind myself to slow down and pay attention. Hopeful is an exciting way to live life.

I am reminded of a personal Christmas story: One year I received a ping pong ball in my stocking. I thought it was odd until I realized that a new ping pong table was in the garage! The next year I received a water ski vest, in my hopefulness I went to the garage to look for a boat! (It was not there)

Hopeful living gives each day a new step and a new potential from the normal everyday cycle of work. Emails can certainly be a bother, but sometimes nuggets of ideas, imagination and hopefulness just might be the gift God intends for you to receive.

Think about it!

These thoughts above are from John Daniels, our partner based out of Wilmington, North Carolina. His primary focus is working alongside churches in administrative challenges and opportunities. For more information about how he can help you, contact him at 910.899.6724 or jdaniels@fbcwilmington.org.

Problematic Vacations?

In response to my earlier article, I would like to clarify some concepts of vacation. I have been on vacation before when the entire time was spent in go! go! go! and spend! spend! spend! modes. Potential problems with that are that upon return you are tired rather than refreshed and perhaps in debt or strapped for three additional months. Although the big and sometimes expensive vacations are a good getaway, especially with kids, they do not accomplish the essential point I was trying to make.
Vacation primarily needs to be a refreshment and rest – a time to breathe deeply and live outside the daily stress and grind of ministry. “Staycations” are becoming popular and if you stay out of the office, could provide needed time away. And between vacations? Don’t forget to take your regularly scheduled days off. They are important times to breathe too!

These thoughts above are from John Daniels, our partner based out of Wilmington, North Carolina. His primary focus is working alongside churches in administrative challenges and opportunities. For more information about how he can help you, contact him at 910.899.6724 or jdaniels@fbcwilmington.org.