Well, I’m back from vacation and attempting to become fully engaged (with moderate success). Here are some of the things I’m currently working on:
1) A new message series. Again this summer, as we have the past two summers, I am not speaking most weekends. That gives me a break and allows me to do some other things, because when I am speaking that more or less fills my week. It also allows us to give some others, mostly my associate Tom and our youth director Chris, an opportunity to get some experience before large groups. But I will be back in the pulpit again this weekend and once more later in our new series. I will be launching a new series all about the Holy Spirit and it is going to be great (the series, not me). So that is mostly what I am working on this week.
2) The book. (Of course). The end of this week we receive the “edited” version from our editor, for one final look through. We then have a two-week window to make any additional changes, corrections or amendments to the text. To be successful, it is also necessary for us to begin planning for its promotion (really a collection of exercises, all new to us which can be challenging). By the way, we still have no title.
3) Planning. We are in the midst of developing a “Strategic Plan” for our campus (we’re trying to figure out how to accommodate twice as many people). We want to do this in a very consultative and collaborative way, learning as we plan, so we have begun talking to parish and community leaders…which is interesting and great, but takes up a lot of time.
4) Staffing. One of the things I have decided to do new in the coming year is a weekly staff meeting that is a teaching meeting. I have decided I want to do more teaching and mentoring for our full time pastoral staff. That has been missing and needs to happen. Just a weekly meeting where I share with them what’s going on, what I’m working on and what I’m thinking about or learning myself. Anyway, to prepare for this I have been doing some additional reading and study.
5) Preparing for the fall. The fall is my favorite time of year around here, the season from September to Christmas just brings so many great things. Our “kick-off” weekend is September 8-9, with all the attendant activities, and the following weekend the new Archbishop is coming for a visit. Once again this fall we will host a church conference, there are three amazing message series to prepare for (can’t wait to tell you about them), and some interesting new features around campus you’ll be seeing too. And of course, Christmas is coming!