Thursday, September 25, 2008

Envisioning Day

Today I had two long car journeys which meant I was able to (hands free) make some long phone calls I've been trying to make all week. I *am* enjoying open plan but it's not the place to make pastoral phone calls. I'm sitting near the door; a real hubbub of conversation sometimes, beside the laminator/guillotine/comb binder thingy. And near the 14 different recycle bins (eco-warriors are very active here. Of course this is a good thing.)

And I'm pretty guilty of being chatty sometimes too.

A new thing about open plan: I'm finding all sorts of interesting things left on my desk by other people; my desk seems to have a kind of a "hot desk" feel to it as I am part-time and it's next to an empty desk that other people come in and use. I need to remember to put away some things I leave out; something I am not used to doing.

I've spent a little more time working at home this week; which has been good for me personally but also results in me feeling a bit on my own, sad individual that I am. I'm just missing friends! People you can call in on; people to talk and pray with; people you can just *be* with. There are some folks here who I would consider very good friends already but when you are feeling your way a little bit in a new community you don't want to overdo it. I may only be suitable to have round in small doses!

Saturday is a very big day for me as I outline a vision for children, family and all age ministry. I am expecting thirty to forty people and this day will be repeated in October, for more folks to come.

I hope to teach on some foundational building blocks for any church which considers itself to offer any kind of ministry to children and families.

Without these kinds of topics being discussed at a leadership level, I don't know how a church can interact with the families and young people who live around them. We have got to know what we believe; at a foundational level; do we really want to welcome children into our church? Do we know what the Lord Jesus said about children? Do we understand the implications this has for everything else we do?
.."unless you change and become like little children you will not enter the kingdom of heaven"..heavy duty words to exegete......

I'm going to teach on/dip into most of the following:- (probably)
- why work with children?
- God calls children
- the significance of children
- personal faith journey
- faith development in children (Westerhoff/Fowler)
- what is the status of children before God?
- the ingredients of children's evangelism
- church vs school - not the same!
- risk taking with your team (* not specifically about children; but its a training need I have identified)
- how to choose a children's bible - just an advice sheet; need something very practical for parents
- vision and value statement; this governs everything I am and everything I do with regard to children and families and intergenerational, all age stuff.

There was so much I could cover on this day but I felt God asking me to concentrate on these areas as I need to get some firm foundations in place for what is to come. I need to re-establish quite a lot of teams and therefore I need people to get VERY excited about the potential of the young lives they shape. I am still stirred from the quote contained within this post here....why is the greatest status afforded to a University professor and not a nursery nurse?

Plus I have some great emergent-type visual clips, pictures and thought provokers. And a lovely big bookstall with all my favourite Bibles, books, Cds and DVDs on it. I think I might enjoy this day with the great folks from my new church family!


  1. Any time I move to a new place I suffer that same feeling of lack of good friends you know you can just *be* with - it has felt sometimes it will never happen!! But then suddenly you cross over that line of 'new friend' into 'close friend' and breathe a sigh of relief. I pray you begin to find those around you that you can have a special connection with soon.

  2. Oh I hope so Lucy.
    I cried lots last night...for all kinds of reasons...a lot very therapeutic I think. I was telling my heavenly Father how I was feeling about all sorts of things; about feeling like an exile a little bit (see for a good post on this)

    This has just got to be gone through and I will look back and laugh (I hope!!)


In the words of Mrs Doyle in Father Ted, go on, go on, go on........

Leave me a wee message! Only rules - is it true, is it kind, is it necessary?