Show me someone who loves a crisis and I’ll show you someone who would benefit from a visit with a mental health professional. Yet, crises often call out things in us that remain dormant, hidden, undeveloped, until need calls for us to act, to not depend on someone else. Creativity. Humility. Generosity. Boldness. Kindness. A dependence on the Spirit.
Two themes I heard consistently in my weekly Zoom conversations with our Northern Plains Region pastors and staff point to benefits some of our churches are seeing in leader care and initiative.
Alea Dutchuk, Children’s Director at Bismarck Baptist, ND, comments, “Our volunteer leaders are teaching and sending out lessons. They not only learned how to record and send the lessons to the children, they are developing their own lessons without my involvement.”
“Our leaders are enjoying fewer meetings and more family time,” shares Steve Pearson, lead pastor of Grace Baptist, Ochre River, MB. “We are moving from being a Martha church to a Mary church.”
Pastor Les Koenig, First Baptist, Valley City, ND, pointed out that his people are helping problem solve, from the ladies pre-packaging communion elements for a drive-in worship service they had recently, to the tech people working out the audio logistics for the outdoor service.
Meanwhile in Minot, ND, if you are part of the children’s program, you will likely see the First Baptist church van driven by Children’s Director Elaine Carlson stopping at your home. She visits the kids in their front yards, while practicing appropriate distancing.
Pastor Kent Hinkel, lead pastor at the Minot church, shared how the staff seems to have more energy and focus with not having to meet on Sundays. “We have dialed back on our RPMs. We have a better rhythm of work and rest.”
Hinkel continues, “Our elders are engaging and shepherding more. Prayer meetings, now bi-weekly via Zoom, have not only increased in numbers, but I’m getting to know people better as we pray together.”
Healthier leaders. Others leading in new ways. People engaging with their families and praying together. How are you encouraging the good work of God’s Spirit in others? Praise Him.
Northern Plains Regional Minister