Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Seasons ARE Changing!

Snow on the mountain peaks after the rain
The leaves are all yellow now here in the Anchorage area. Some are still hanging on the branches but most of them are on the ground. The overnight temperatures are dipping. For the past week or so, I've had to scrape frost off my windshield in the morning. A quick squall yesterday left snow on the mountain tops. Its only a matter of time before that snowline finds its way down. 

I hate to say this friends but the seasons are changing and winter is coming.

Many people who find out that I am serving in Alaska after living most of my life in the Philippines, cannot wrap their heads around the fact that my family and I are loving it here. "How do you do it?", they ask. "You must be be miserable.", they say. But we say, "No. We love it here. Alaska is home for us now, or at least for the foreseeable future. So we have to adapt." And I feel that we have adapted well.

Running in layers
Adapt is what we do when seasons change. I employ this principle in my running since I run outdoors all year long. When seasons change, I adapt and dress appropriately. I ran in shorts and a short sleeved shirt all summer. Now that the temperatures have dipped, I've added long-sleeved shirt that I can still shed when I get hot. Pretty soon, I'll be busting out my tights and gloves and having my shoes "re-studded" for traction. Never run in cotton, though. Cotton holds water. It'll drench you in the summer and freeze you in the winter. I go for the synthetic fabrics that wick-out moisture, keeping me mostly dry in any condition. Wool is great for winter running. If you're interested, here's a helpful online guide to running wear for different conditions: http://www.runnersworld.com/what-to-wear

Adapt is what we do when seasons change. Now the seasons are definitely changing in our life as a denomination and as the church, the body of Christ. There are many challenges to ministry and being the church today that call us to change the way we think and do things in order to thrive and keep fulfilling our mission. There are many pressing issues that we need to deal with head-on. The world we live in and the circumstances of mission and ministry are ever changing. We can choose to be miserable and complain about our situation. Or we can choose to adapt and thrive in these changing circumstances.

Our call is to be adaptive leaders. Here's a link to an article summarizing the work of Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky on Adaptive Leadership. This article has been helpful for me in this new role. It might just be helpful for you too.

What are changes in your own context that are calling you and your church to adapt? My prayer is that you would be able to adapt well and continue being the hands and feet of Christ in the community where you are planted.

Your fellow disciple,

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing "Adaptive Leadership" - very good tool not just for leaders but some great bullets to help inspire those with great ideas within the connection to become more vocal and share his/her gifts as we all continue the work of the church!