Fun stuff continues to unfold... I will have better details in the days to come, but want to keep my friends up to date. Here's the latest:
Youth ministry projects: June 7-10 I was in Norfolk, Nebraska and this past week I was in New Lenox, Illinois. I spent the whole week working with a great church on their next steps for a growing youth ministry. They just had to change the driveway entry for their church, so they commemorated that change with a new, um, "catchy" message that we decided to take a photo of...
Just like my time in Nebraska, I left my week very encouraged after being with faithful people plugging away for years without a need for acclaim. I was also grateful to get to use my years of youth min experience to bless an entirely new group of people. Consulting is fun for me because it builds on stuff I like to do: connect quickly with new friends, take in a ton of information in a short amount of time, write a lot in a creative way, and think on my feet. I was definitely ready to come home to sunny CA after going through muggy Midwest thunderstorms, but the trip was definitely worth it. I come away from both projects with the churches liking what we had to offer. They asked me and my partner for these projects (a gifted youth ministry prof from Grand Rapids and all-around fun lady to work with named Lynn) to continue to work with them. Yesssssss.
This coming Monday I'm on the road again, but just for two days. I will meet with a key contact at Fuller Seminary to talk youth ministry, then head over to Azusa to meet with staff connected to a new ministry connection: Eden Reforestation Projects. I will post more details soon about this, but I will say for now that I AM VERY VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS ORGANIZATION! (Yes, I'm yelling). I will work with them in several ways. Like I said, I'll take more time soon to share details. It connects my passions for social justice and creation care. I am so fortunate to get to work with something that is so profoundly effective and needed.
After these meetings, I head over to another So Cal community to start a new pastoral coaching project. This is really enjoyable for me and different from the youth ministry consulting. I've got two pastors here in town that I'm already working with, and have been recently asked to begin with at least one more church for now, with others to come. Rather than help an entire church change their youth ministry infrastructure, in coaching I work solely with the lead pastor to evaluate his or her main talents and how to make those work best within their ministry context and their church staff.
Then I get to finish up my travels, at least for awhile. July will be filled with follow up on everything that has come down the pike in the last month: planning for Providence Hall in the fall, weekly coaching with pastors and Eden Projects, and writing. Fabulous.
I have another article coming out in Youthworker magazine for July -- I'm waiting to hear from them as to the link so you can see it. It's on the extremely gripping topic of Campus Access. It'll change your life. Stay tuned.... Hoping to have another article posted soon as well.
Thanks for checking in periodically to hear what's up. Know that I am grateful each day, rejoicing in the small ways I am learning how to trust. As I have shared with so many, it's funny how you can't learn much about faith unless you actually put yourself in situations that require... faith. There you have it. STEP OUT. Take risks. Be willing to be in unfamiliar territory for more than 37 seconds. Pray daily. Build your day around time with Jesus, rather than the other way around, and go from there.
All for now. Talk soon.