Written by Rachel Quigley
Our summer ministry schedule is a little bit more relaxed. We plan backyard barbeques, enjoy picnics, family campouts and a whole host of other relationship building moments with our church families. So when the full-fledged ministry schedule kicks back into gear, along with school and other obligations the schedules can seem a bit full. The challenge of getting back into a full swing schedule and thrive in it can feel a bit much. So I thought I would share some ideas for making the transition from summer to a more scheduled time.
EVALUATE THE SCHEDULE:
This is a great time to sit down with your family and decide what you want this season to look like. Using the principle of putting the “big rocks” on the schedule first will help you evaluate the important things that need to happen. This can also go for ministry and work schedules as well. When you have the big things in the schedule then you can re-evaluate the other obligations and scheduling conflicts.
GO OVER THE BUDGET:
Expenses and income should be evaluated as well especially in our economy today with our dollar not going as far as it used to. The budget will also influence the schedule as well in determining what can and should be done.
CLEAN AND ORGANIZE YOUR WORKSPACE:
After summer break it’s a good idea to sort, organize, and replenish supplies for the new season. It’s also nice to have a clean slate and space to start again.
ADJUST YOUR BEDTIME ROUTINE:
Summer days are for late nights and lazy mornings. But all good things must come to an end, and that includes a relaxed bedtime schedule. Start going to bed a little earlier each night and getting up a little earlier each day. Adjusting gradually will be better especially for kids going back to school.
ESTABLISH & KEEP A REGULAR EXERCISE ROUTINE:
If you want to be productive, moving your body helps. Exercise builds our stamina to endure more and gives us more energy throughout the day. Even just a 20 minute walk or stretching regularly can make a difference.
SCHEDULE IN SOME FUN:
Even though we are heading into a more heavily scheduled season it doesn’t mean we still can’t have some fun. Scheduling some fun gives us a break and something to look forward to on the calendar.
JUMP INTO THE CONVERSATION:
Written by Pastor Susan Adwalpalker
artificial light and blackout curtains, my kitchen is spotless. But let the natural light of the sunshine through and every spot I haven't touched or just ignored becomes pretty evident.
In that moment I felt the Lord place on my heart, ‘just as the sun in the sky exposes what is underneath and hidden; the light of His Son exposes what is truly underneath and hidden in our lives and hearts.'
Luke 2:2-3 states, "There is nothing concealed that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs."
The Message translates it like this:
In other words, God wants to expose those things in our lives that we have kept hidden because they aren’t healthy. They aren’t edifying. They are what is keeping us from being and becoming everything Christ desires us to be.
So many times, as Christian women, especially as women in ministry, we hide behind the façade of perfection. We hide behind the busyness of ministry, family, work, you name it. We’re not fully allowing the Holy Spirit to deal with the areas He is exposing.
The first thing I wanted to do when I saw everything the sunlight exposed was to close the curtains! I did not want to deal with it. If I’m being honest, there are still some spots in my kitchen I have yet to deep clean!
We tend to do the same thing with God. We don’t want to deal with what He’s exposing because it means addressing some uncomfortable and vulnerable truths, we have tried to hide behind the blackout curtains of our lives. We have people convinced we have it all together. I think many times we have convinced ourselves as well.
God isn’t exposing our stuff to condemn us. He’s exposing it so He can heal us. When we said ‘Yes’ to Jesus we said Yes to His will. And His will wants to break those chains and generational curses of bitterness, offense, unforgiveness, anger, and many others.
I am not just a woman in ministry. I am not just a female pastor. I am not just a mother, friend, daughter, and sister. I am a broken vessel God is making whole. We all are.
walking with the Lord or are struggling in their faith. Our churches are struggling financially, and attendance is down.
So, how do we allow the love of Christ to begin the cleansing where we need to be restored?
Don’t close the curtains on what God is doing but instead pay attention to where He is shining His light of grace and revelation in your life.
God’s light exposing those areas is for our good. Turn toward Him and let His grace shine bright in your life.
This article was adapted from Trailblazer & Servant – By Christina Quick (first published in Influence magazine Issue 18 – July-Aug 2018)
On June 1, 2018, Donna Barrett began her term as general secretary of the Assemblies of God, becoming the first woman to serve on the Executive Leadership Team.
The Ohio native’s selection demonstrates that the Fellowship’s egalitarian stance toward women in ministry extends even to the highest levels.
Concerning this opportunity Donna shared, “I have a tremendous amount of admiration and respect for our general superintendent, Doug Clay, and our 21-member Executive Presbytery for making this move toward helping our Church be more relevant from the leadership table.”
While Bro. Clay says Donna’s selection was not based on her gender, he acknowledges this is a historic occasion in the AG.
“I know this moment will be meaningful for many women who feel God’s calling on their lives,” Clay says.
Donna succeeded James Bradford, who resigned his post to serve as full-time lead pastor of Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri.
Donna’s faith journey began in 1975, when she accepted Christ as Savior and experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit as a teenager at Highway Tabernacle Assembly of God in Youngstown, Ohio.
As a young adult, Donna spent time working at a law office as a paralegal, while volunteering as a lay leader in her church. When she sensed God calling her to ministry, she pursued credentials through Global University, becoming an Assemblies of God licensed minister in 1988 and ordained in 1999.
“As Pentecostals, we’re awakened through the Scriptures to the reality that the Holy Spirit --- pours out on both men and women --- gives gifts, including the gift of leadership. If we neglect to open doors of opportunity, we are stifling the activity of the Holy Spirit.”
As a church planter who led a congregation of just over 100, Donna brings valuable experience and perspective to her post.
“Not only do I identify with 25 percent of our ministers who are women, but I identify with our small-church pastors, which is the larger number of our pastors,” she says.
Donna hopes her presence on the Executive Leadership Team will encourage other women in the Assemblies of God to consider serving in church leadership positions.
To women stepping out to follow a call to ministry, Donna adds,
“Be faithful. Walk through whatever doors God opens for you, even it it’s scary. Participate actively, serve where invited. Honor your male colleagues and leaders as unto the Lord, and don’t have a chip on your shoulder. Work hard, be a lifelong learner, and take advantage of whatever training opportunities are before you.”
Donna wants people to know her not just as a trailblazer for women leaders, but as a faithful servant to this diverse Fellowship and the kingdom of God. One of her favorite passages of Scripture is 1 Corinthians 1:3-4. She paraphrases it this way: “With the same grace you’ve received, turn and help others.”
When asked what she would like to be known for, Donna answered, “I want to be a prayerful, humble servant who helps the Church bring glory to God. Our superintendent, Doug Clay, has vision that I look forward to helping carry out.”
Often in ministry we are blessed with an insider view of God’s grace and His working in the lives of individuals. Pastor Kathy Dana shares her experience with this blessing. Thank you, Kathy for sharing with us.
A view from the communion table
Written by Pastor Kathy Dana
The calling to be a pastor is an awesome privilege. We become part of the lives of people God has entrusted to us. We hold very intimate details of their lives. It can be hard. It can be lonely. Yet, it is the greatest blessing of our life's calling.
Among those blessings, I am thankful for the pastor's blessing of the view from the communion table. God revealed this blessing to me on Christmas Eve a few years ago. I was serving the elements at the communion table and as I waited, I looked over the congregation. The Holy Spirit revealed to me the precious saints preparing for communion. I have had the privilege of ministering to many of them through their most difficult seasons of life. I was overwhelmed with the revelation of how God had brought them through.
As pastors we see...
As pastors and ministry women, we are blessed to see all these things and more. The view from the communion table is a gift from God – a glimpse of God’s glory revealed through His people.
Jump into the conversation:
Written by Rachel Quigley
Dave and I were gifted a dinner date at Texas de Brazil. This is an elaborate smorgasbord meat buffet that comes right to your table. Their meats are fabulous and thinking back on that meal makes my mouth water. It’s on the expensive side so friends told us, “Go hungry and get your money's worth!”
Our hostess explained how the meal would go. Our side dishes would be brought to our table and served family style. We could enjoy endless salad bar trips, and the green/red card on our table would let the meat buffet servers know when we wanted more or were ready for a rest.
While enjoying our sides and salads, we indulged in a parade of varying meats carved and served to us at our table. The green side of our card sat there letting the servers know we were open to them bringing us more meat. When we were full we had the option of turning our card to show red - stop bringing us food!
Dave and I love a good meal. There’s something about savoring the flavors and tenderness of the various meats. There was filet mignon wrapped in bacon, parmesan-crusted pork loin, garlic picanha, and so many other delectable cuts of meat. It was amazing and we were glad we had gone hungry so we could fill up on all the goodness.
But then something started happening. What was just moments before savory and delicious was now not sitting well in my gullet. I was stuffed and overextended. The variety began to fade and all the tastes blended together in a mixture of sameness. I began regretting all that commitment.
I indicated to the servers I was done by turning my card to 'red' but they kept coming. I began feeling guilty for the unfinished meat on my plate. I was way beyond my capacity. I was no longer savoring but instead regretting my choices and just wanted to leave.
Sometimes in life we find ourselves in similar scenarios.
We commit to areas of ministry thinking it’s good and amazing. We enjoy the richness of serving and meeting the needs of others. But then our schedules are stuffed and we’re overextended. And even though we hold up the ‘red’ stop cards, people and tasks don’t seem to recognize our fullness.
When we are stuffed beyond capacity, our tells show.
Margin is the fuel reserve for our lives. When we have no margin our engines seize up and we’re left on the side of the road.
To honor our capacity, how can we create margin in our lives?
Recognize we are responsible for creating the boundaries in our lives. We set the parameters. This requires strategy and intentionality.
God created us for whole living. His desire is that we live abundant lives – not through over stuffing, overextending, or over committing but through:
In these areas of Living in Wholeness, Life Giving Relationships, and Honoring our Capacity, we can flourish and live richer lives by applying these principles to our lives.
Jump into the conversation: