December 30, 2009
Just wrote the first draft of a letter we will send out to a lot of friends in the next days about where we are and to solicit any prayer and input they might have that would be helpful.
And then it hit me: you are a great circle of faithful friends.
So, here, in its unpolished glory is the letter. Thanks for listening to His voice while you scramble through my words:
With the changing events in our lives during the past few weeks, Jackie and I decided to wait until now to greet you at this season.
First…we hope you had a great Christmas and are entering this New Year full of faith and energy. We had a wonderful Christmas. With up to 14 family gathering, it was one of the best family seasons for us ever. Micah (home from Afghanistan) with Sarah & Ella, were with us for 10 days. It was special indeed.
About the “changing events” in our lives: on December 10th, out of the blue, the word came to us that the District was not finishing the year in budgetary strength as had been hoped and that further belt tightening was needed…in specific, the Church Development Department would have to be closed early in the New Year. In fact, we will be in the office until the end of January and then on the payroll until the end of March. Relationships here are great, (there were tears) but the financial crunch is making what could be done at the peak of District income, impossible at this point.
We have not/are not panicing. We have felt rather strongly that the Lord has a further assignment time for us….and that we should let our circle of friends in on this so that perchance the Lord may give us some wisdom through their feedback and prayers. During the four years here we have coached, taught, mentored, assessed, counseled and helped churches get going, filled pulpits, written (our blog has almost 5,000 hits now – rmdc.org + blogs + just between us) – and stuff I have written has been featured in the last three months, in editions of the Evangel…and a number of times in their daily blog.
Providentially, two Districts had already asked us to minister among them in ‘10 – Montana and North Dakota. We do personal health stuff, avoiding burnout, church health stuff, work with boards, help people dream bigger, help churches define process and policy. These years at RMDC I have received a lot of training in coaching and have coached and trained others in coaching. I have worked with men – both at a State and local level. Together Jackie and I have ministered in marriage weekends, and grief recovery programs – both of us were widowed some 16 years ago. We are at this time, filling in at a large AG church – on weekends – and it is going well, unified, and in fact, increasing in attendance.
A great joy during these past years is seeing pastors become so much more equipped and at ease in pastoring the Presence of God when their churches gather. In our ministry in Lincoln for 30 years (from plant at 22 to 1400 in three services) …this was a hallmark of the church gathered – the live, orderly, health-producing – presence of the Spirit among the people.
Thanks for the times you might pray with us. Thanks for any ideas you have as to how we can be a blessing. I am sending this letter to various persons who we might be very helpful to. We are hoping so.
Thanks for being our friends.
David and Jackie