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Serving and valuing one another well

This weekend we kicked off the skills portion of training for our Deacon candidates, who've been in training since February as part of discerning their call. Circumstances made the responsibility of designing and spearheading these next three weeks kick over to me, and while I'm sure I could have asked other Deacons for more help, the fact is that this kind of thing is right in my wheelhouse and I've missed it since leaving student affairs, so I was glad to take it on. Our first session went really well, in part because the candidates are so high caliber and eager to learn. Also, the current Deacons did a great job of jumping in with their perspectives as we went along, which rounded things out well. I'm looking forward not only to the next couple of weeks of training, but especially to the hope of seeing some (or all!) of this crew become Deacons and how that can better serve our church and community.

Which reminds me I need to send out a summary email to everyone to keep everything on track. Hard to think back to how I ran stuff like this before email was such a ubiquitous and useful tool.

Also along the learning curve, I had the opportunity to sketch out the implications of our church staff being in a Results-Only Work Environment again this weekend. It's often a challenge to redirect questions rooted in the mindset of a "traditional workplace"—something as innocuous as "What days are you in the office?" becomes (ideally) a dialogue about "What do you need?," because that's what really matters. I'm in the office whenever it's the best place for me to get my work done, which doesn't have a thing to do with getting the other person whatever it is they need.

Sometimes that's tough for people to get their heads around, and I wonder if part of it is that folks don't get how worthwhile we all are. Not only is it important for the staff to work for the church in their best ways, but others' needs are also usually important enough to be more than interruptions. While it's OK (even when not ideal) for people to grab us with what's on their minds in the moment, the fact is, what's on their minds is often worth more than that, from all of us, and we're glad to give it more. So as nice and folksy as " Maybe I'll stop by sometime when you're in the office" might seem, let's value both of us and whatever we're working on enough to earmark time together specifically—whenever, wherever we decide. I want people to understand that they're that valuable (and we are, too).

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