records, meetings, and hijackings

I think we broke the record today for our longest staff meeting ever. But it was really good. It totally didn't seem like it took almost 3 1/2 hours.

We hold staff meetings every other Monday morning for all our staff (missionary and Basotho) and interns. Our meetings have three parts: testimonies, department updates, and development. We all sit in a big circle (which today was even bigger since the Outreach Staff joined us as well). Starting anywhere in the circle, we work our way around the room -- anyone who wants to can share a testimony about what God has been doing in and through them and their department in the past few weeks. This morning, more people than usual shared incredible stories of what God has been up to. It is encouraging and energizing for all of us to hear what He's doing throughout the ministry.

Then we go back around the circle sharing department updates -- upcoming events that everyone should be aware of. Because we are a team, we feel it's important for everyone to know what's happening in each area -- even if they are not directly involved in it or affected by it. We want everyone to walk away with a sense that their efforts indirectly affect everything the ministry does -- and through that, impact every life that is impacted by the ministry. "It's all Kingdom business!"

Then we end off with a time of development. Niel and I feel strongly that we are called by God to minister to our team -- to the staff and interns He has blessed us with. We are intentional about providing as many opportunities for growth and development as we can.

(As we recently shared with our interns, we are not responsible for them, but we are responsible to them. We are responsible to them in the sense of creating an environment that is conducive for personal and spiritual growth and providing as many platforms for development as we possibly can. But we are not responsible for them. They alone are responsible for their own growth and development. What they do with the opportunities we provide is their own choice.)

Development time usually involves a teaching of some sort (either by Niel or via a teaching DVD) and a time of discussion about personal (and ministry) application. We are currently working through a DVD series about submitting to authority. The sessions this morning -- and the discussions that ensued -- were really, really good.

In spite of the way it hijacked my morning, necessitated that I reschedule several meetings, and made my day seem rushed and hectic, I walked away from staff meeting feeling strengthened for the week ahead.