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tap. tap. tap. who knows how long my tire had been making that sound. with my blaring music or loud mouth on the phone, i usually can’t hear the sounds from outside my car. thankfully, today i was sitting in silence and heard the dreadful sound coming from my front right tire. i don’t care for the quiet, but today it allowed me to hear the warning signs from my tire’s damage. i just wish i had been quiet enough to listen earlier, because i ended up with a flat tire in my hair dresser’s parking lot. (don’t worry ladies, of course the tire was put on hold for a much needed color treatment.)

all this led me to think through the effects of the drowning sounds of programs, events, and weekly stresses in ministry. are we heading into a flat or is there an area that is so slowly losing life we will be caught off guard when it can no longer move forward effectively?

there are plenty of “sounds” and busyness that can keep me from hearing the warning signs of ineffective ministry, weary volunteers, concerned parents, or hurting kids. the motions of ministry can become so second nature that stillness must be scheduled to evaluate and seek God’s direction.

i am thrilled and honestly relieved to begin the first of three carved out times of quiet reflection and vision casting with a group of kidmin parents this sunday evening. this is not another meeting, but an intentional time to slow down and seek God’s best for dawson kids. in the first month we will honestly evaluate all areas of the ministry. the second month brings a time of vision casting and formulating a ministry signature that will act as a filter and compass for the road ahead. the third and final phase will include mapping out future ministry opportunies and matching parents to champion each cause that supports our new ministry signature. (the signature comes in step two.)

my time with this group does not end after three meetings. i need these “parent champions” to hold me accountable, to partner with me in ministry, and listen closely to the warning sounds of trouble. hopefully together we can embrace some quiet moments, intentionally be still, avoid flats, and safely stay on God’s directed route.

as i sit in the tire repair shop i can’t help but think that my tire oversight is costing me only money. what a greater cost we pay in ministry if we refuse scheduled stillness and silence to listen for the warning signs.

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