Dear North East District Family,
Earlier this month I attended the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, and as always, God had something important for me to learn from the speakers. Before I share something that I learned, let me say a word of thanks to CrossRoad Church UMC, the Rev. Kevin Griffin, Tracey Hixson, and Alex Card (along with their amazing team of volunteers) who continue to host the Summit with extraordinary hospitality. If your church wants to learn how to provide excellent hospitality, I recommend attending the Summit just to see CrossRoad’s team in action.
During the Summit, one of the speakers was Ben Sherwood. Ben is the former president of Disney-ABC Television and ABC News. During his talk, he shared something he learned when he went to a school that taught people how to survive in a plane crash. I thought his words were also germane for churches that are experiencing crisis. (You could even say they pertain to The UMC in general as we continue down the path of deciding our future.)
Ben taught about the 10-80-10 Rule. In a crisis, 10% of the people will emerge as leaders. They will begin to lead people to safety. Eighty percent of the people in a crisis will tend to freeze and wait for someone in authority to direct them. The last 10% will emerge as counter-productive. They are only looking out for themselves and not trying to help lead anyone else to safety. They will ignore instructions and sound leadership causing harm to others.
The next time you find your faith community in a crisis, I would encourage you to look for the 10-80-10 rule in action. Who are the people that are emerging as wise leaders? How can you support them? Who are the people who are becoming counter-productive? How can you prevent them from doing harm?
A few other things Ben learned from the school seemed helpful to churches in times of crisis:
- Maintain your point of reference. This allows you to stay on course. In the church, our point of reference should always be Jesus! When we lose sight of Him during a crisis, we can easily stray off course. It may sound trite, but what would Jesus do?
- Wait for the violent and sudden motion to stop. If you wait for a few moments, things will settle down and you can find the way to move forward and out of the crisis. Often we want to react too soon, and it can cause more damage.
- Practice realistic optimism. Optimists don’t tend to survive. Instead, realistic optimists are the ones who survive! A realistic optimist is someone who understands the present ruthlessly but has hope that things will get better and works toward it. Jim Collins in his ground breaking book From Good to Great called this the Stockdale Principle after Admiral James Stockdale who was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.
I hope and pray that your congregation doesn’t find itself in crisis, but the reality is that sooner or later, something happens that can rock your faith community. Think and pray about these principles and see if they might not help you lead your church to safety!
God bless you!
All God’s love,
Charge Conference Documents and Health Stipend Increase
- The charge conference documents will be available on August 21. Be sure to check the website next week and click on the forms for the North East District.
- The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits met last week and the board voted in favor of raising the clergy health stipends by 5.5%. Please note these updated numbers when completing your clergy compensation form at Charge Conference.
- The new Health Stipends for 2020 are:
- Single: $11,183
- Clergy Plus One Dependent: $14,538
- Family: $17,893
- The new Health Stipends for 2020 are:
District Youth Leader's Meeting
The North East District will have its next District Youth Meeting back at CrossRoad UMC (10005 Gate Parkway N, Jax FL 32246) on Thursday, August 22 at 10:30 a.m. It'll be awesome to reconnect and swap stories about our summers, and then get our feet wet in the waters of Fall District Retreat planning! Following our meeting we will head over to Town Center for some lunch together. If you have any questions about the meeting, please contact your District Youth Coordinator, Corey Markle.
For more information about the training, please click here.
August 20, 2019 - Fresh Expressions Brown Bag Trainings
August 19, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Crescent City, 4-6:30 p.m.
August 22, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Middleburg, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
August 26, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Crescent City, 4-6:30 p.m.
August 27, 2019 - Fresh Expressions Brown Bag Trainings
September 9, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Jacksonville, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
September 14, 2019 - District UMW Mission Study, 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. @ Palm Coast UMC
September 16, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Jacksonville, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
September 18, 2019 – District Admin Brunch, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m./Southside UMC
September 23, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Jacksonville, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
September 30, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Jacksonville, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
October 1, 2019 – Clergy Compensation Forms Due to District Office
October 2, 2019 - Servant Keeper Webinar, 12 p.m.
October 9, 2019 – District Clergy/Ministry Team Meeting @ Fleming Island UMC. 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
October 12-13, 2019 - Fall Lay Servant Training @ Wesconnett UMC.
October 26, 2019 – Super-Charged Conference, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. @ CrossRoad UMC
October 28, 2019 – Church Dashboard Update Day
November 12, 2019 – Finance/Trustees Training @ San Marco UMC
November 13, 2019 – Finance/Trustees Training @ Emmanuel UMC, Palatka
December 10, 2019 – SPRC Training @ Garden City UMC
December 11, 2019 - Recerts/Certs/LP - Please contact Elizabeth Flynn for more information - firstname.lastname@example.org
December 12, 2019 – SPRC Training @ First UMC, Bunnell
February 8, 2020 – Equip 2020 Leadership Event @ Beach UMC
October 17, 2020 – 2020 Super-Charged Conference @ CrossRoad UMC