Friday, June 26, 2009

Forming the New Day Family

"It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word." Acts 6:2-4 NIV

For the past month now, we’ve been focusing a lot of time on the process of hiring for New Day UMC. Here’s an inside look on what this important piece of pre-launch involves...

  • It starts with prayer over who is necessary, and what positions the mission field requires. No matter how hard I tried to eliminate a position or two, the Holy Spirit kept telling me, “No, no, no. You can’t do without that one!”

  • Then came gathering a Staffing Team to help guide the process, and man, did God come through with a couple of the best guys for that job! John and Jason have been incredible;

  • Then there was the writing of job descriptions, and getting a very clear set of priorities on what we were looking for in each candidate (not as easy as it may sound);

  • Spreading the word through various networks -- emails, newspaper ads, university and seminary sites, United Methodist electronic bulletin board, facebook, Craigslist, and more;

  • Securing a Federal Employer Identification Number;

  • Researching equitable compensation by contacting sister churches;

  • Responding to interested parties; etc. etc. etc.
After 2-3 weeks, we had 27 people apply for our 5 part-time positions, many applying to combine several roles together for more hours for a total of 46 individual applications. There were so many wonderfully gifted people who came forward, and we gave thanks for each one of them! Further prayerful discussions lead us to invite 9 candidates in for interviews. You’d think it would be easier at this point, but truly it was not. It felt like a jigsaw puzzle to all of us, and we needed patience as we turned over more pieces of people’s stories and gathered their information.

This afternoon, we completed the interviews and tried to get a picture of the future New Day staff together. It includes 3 Godly people. It is not the same picture I had in mind even last night. It is not with all of the roles as neatly laid out as originally intended. It is not without risks. It is one more exercise in taking one faithful step at a time.

For us, this process is not simply about getting the job done, or bringing any warm body on board. It is a process of forming a dynamic team, better yet, of gathering a family together. The chemistry has to be right. The family has to harmonize well. The family has to be built around people serving Christ by serving people. The Spirit within the group has to be paid attention to. Right now, the potential family portrait has some amazing people in it, and I am excited by the possibilities. But it aint over yet, people!

What if he doesn’t feel at home with us? What if she needs more hours or more benefits than we can offer right now? What if they are set in their ways and unable to adapt? What if she turns us down? What if...?

We’ll keep you posted, but for now, keep the prayers for the new family comin’!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Leaps of Faith

News from Janet...

Never a dull moment here at New Day Church, and wanted to let you know a few newsworthy items! Last week Jim and the "Staffing Team" finalized job descriptions and started advertising for 5 part-time positions for New Day! The 2 most important will be Childcare Coordinator and Director of Worship & Music. The other 3 are Directors of Children, Youth and Adult Spiritual Growth. These are all very part time right now, and we're thinking that some may be combined depending on applicant's skills/needs.

We are taking a true LEAP of faith in hiring - and those we hire will understand that they will be entering into a "risky business"! They will be an integral part of expanding the New Day family and actively fundraising for parts of their salaries as well as their more normal duties. Jim has contacted about 45 UMC pastors requesting a special offering, or some other financial support, and the indications are that donations from these churches will come close to covering staffing salaries for the remainder of the year. So we take the leap, knowing we have planted seeds and worked the plan, and believing that God will do the rest! It will be just so interesting to see who will step forward for this ministry! Please pray for this process; people, funds, timing, etc.

New Day Church now has a BEAUTIFUL sign on our door! Thank you, Jim Baller, for this wonderful gift! Also, Jim's office is now finally complete and functional thanks to some awesome gifts from Delano UMC. We are so grateful! Things will be much more efficient with everything in one place. Working between home and church was creating much chaos!

The next Preview Worship will be this Sunday, June 14th, 10:45. We're anticipating another smallish crowd - if you would pray for God's spirit to be present in the preparation this week and during the service on Sunday, we would appreciate it! Guests are always welcome!

The launch team is very active now - working on staffing, hospitality plan, advertising and some special projects like marching in the Spud Fest parade, neighborhood picnics, farmer's market , etc. It's exciting to see their enthusiasm and ownership in some of these projects. And the Bible Basics class has been very well-received. Fun to see the excitement around learning about the Bible!

That's it for now! Hope all is well with all of you. Keep in touch - we love hearing your news as well!