Newsletter
January 3, 2023

Focusing and Flourishing in the New Year

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Over Christmas break, I was thinning out some of my books in my regular and home office while watching some college football. While I buy some of my books on Kindle, to me, nothing beats the touch and feel of an actual book. Thus purging books is more important for my organization than simply upgrading a device with more memory in order to hold more books.  

If you have ever cleaned out books, you know the challenge in doing so. I initially try to approach the process by trying to get rid of books if I haven’t looked at them in 2 years. But there are some great reference books and commentaries that I may not have used in the last couple of years, but I can see instances where I will refer to them in the future. The harder ones are the books that I would really want to read that would help me grow as a leader and a disciple, but I “just haven’t had time”. 

I came across some great books on a variety of valuable topics. I didn’t want to discard them, but I knew I needed a way to determine which ones I was going to work through now and what I would keep for later reference.

I went back to a practice that I had for awhile, but lost before COVID. This was to pick one leadership topic to focus on for a half year and to pick something in the area of theology and discipleship that would be helpful to dive into more deeply. In the area of leadership, I am focusing on the concept of organizational management. We are ten years into ECO, have launched Flourish Institute of Theology, and have narrowed but doubled down some ministry offerings in Flourish. It feels a bit like a church plant that will require something different from me in the next season than what it required in the past. I want to explore exactly what those should be through some focused resources and my individual coaching.  

In the area of theology, I am inspired to dig into St. Augustine’s book, The City of God. I read pieces of this in seminary and enjoyed it then. I think however there is even greater applicability to our lives now. Augustine’s concern over pagan philosophies and the dichotomy between the City of God and the Earthly City has great parallels to what we face in our culture and even within the church. 

January is a great time to take our Flourishing Next Step as a church and as leaders. I encourage you to think about where God might be calling you to grow in this coming year and how to take some steps to flourish in this direction. Know that you’re not alone in this endeavor – we are always here to help you discern what your Flourishing Next Step should be and to provide you with resources and support so that you may thrive, build disciples and serve the communities where you live and serve! 

Praying that your new year is off to a great start and that we are all preparing ourselves to be open to the Spirit’s leading and growth in our lives both personally and in the church! I can’t wait to be with many of you at the National Gathering! 

In Christ,

Dana

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