Archive for the 'me & mine' Category

Emotional whiplash

20 September 2008

There are lots of ups and downs being an organizer. Last Tuesday, for example, I counted three ups and four downs, and last Tuesday was pretty typical. Emotional whiplash is an occupational hazard. I don’t think it’s just me: My organizer friends all report the same sort of thing, albeit to different degrees, depending on temperament.

Still, the ups are pretty good. I have lots of leaders who are just phenomenal people, who have incredible stories. And every once in a while, I just think, damn, I really love this guy. (Or this woman, but the leader I’m thinking of as I write this is a man.) They’re just great. They get it, they’re committed to making this work, and you can just go in there with a napkin and a pen and come out with your problems solved. Having leaders like that makes this less lonely, and a lot more fun.

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Events

17 September 2008

I’ve been pretty prolific in writing here in the last few days. That’s partly because of Sarah Palin, and the commentary thereon. But I had resisted giving my two cents on that for a number of days, and I think the reason that I gave in is more personal: Avoiding work.

This month has been full of events, which has sort of been an obstacle to really building much capacity in the congregations. I have too many congregations; it works out to something like 2 hours per congregation per week, which is too little time to do very many initial 1-1s.

We anticipate hiring someone next month who I will supervise and assign some congregations to, but in the meantime the stress of having to put on event has really been stressful, on me, and on my leaders — not being able to do initial 1-1s means that there’s no new leadership being trained to take on some of that burden.

What’s more, events are not what I like about organizing. One-to-ones are. That’s what gives me energy. Vacation in three weeks, and counting down.

Wintering in Washington

2 January 2008

I go back to Kentucky tomorrow. This trip home has been a qualified success. The problem this time has been that most of the people I’d hoped to see while at home are not around when I am. So there has been excessive down time – which I can have in Kentucky – and insufficient social time.

Emotionally, I invest a lot in the time I have at home, largely because I know so few people in Kentucky, where I’m still very new. There’s a proper balance in the ideal time with friends at home, between indulgent, idle hanging out, and having conversations that seem significant. I come home so seldom that it seems a shame to be here and not have those sorts of conversations that are best had in person. I also need to have a good balance of group activities and one-on-one time, and a bit of down time to regain my energy to really take full advantage of being around all the people here that I love. In practice it seldom works out that way.

But I’ve had a lovely Christmas and New Year’s, a couple of nice holiday parties, and lots of random errands and adventures with people from this house I squat in when I’m home. I eat very well here, and sleep late, and have an embarrassment of riches of churches that are mine, and not congregations I’m organizing.

And I did get at least one incisive and challenging conversation out of it. More on that later, perhaps.