By Sarah Erickson, Director for Lifelong Learning
Most church leaders are generalists. We may be better at, or enjoy, some aspects of our work more than others, of course. But we are called to mix it up on a regular basis. And that’s a good thing, because according to the HBR, “the future may belong to the generalist.” It turns out that we just may be better at navigating uncertainty.
By virtue of our work, however, we often need some specialized information. This post is another compilation of resources I’ve discovered, used, recommended, and otherwise found helpful in the time since put together my first list.
The Rev. Dr. Lorna Bradley has written an encouraging, helpful book, Special Needs Parenting: From Coping to Thriving. The mother of an adult son with special needs, Bradley offers seven helpful tools for family and friends to gain a deeper, grace-filled understanding of God’s presence, process deeply held feelings of grief and guilt, discover strategies for patience, self-care, and healthy relationships and find hope and healing. You can read more about the book, and about supporting families and disabled persons at her blog, http://specialneedsparenting.me/.
Are you looking for an online resource focusing innovative approaches to Christian Education? Look no farther than http://hope4ce.net/, a multi-platform resource (Facebook, @DocKLD on Twitter) developed by seminary professor of Christian Education, Kathy Dawson.
There are several great resources about Christian practices, including those found online at www.practicingourfaith.org/what-are-christian-practices. I also recommend the beautifully illustrated book Sleeping with Bread: Holding that Which Gives You Life, that guides the reader through the Ignatian practice of examen.
I just started Digital Cathedral: Networked Ministry in a Wired World by Keith Anderson. It doesn’t hurt that he will keynote Thompson Scholars in April 2015 (watch for course information and application instructions in August). Read more about Keith, his ministry and other book at http://pastorkeithanderson.net.
When I am invited to lead worship, most congregations I visit use the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). However, I expect to be invited to preach at a congregation that uses the Narrative Lectionary (NL) sooner rather than later. If I do, I’ll be sure to pay attention to the Facebook group, to which I belong. I’ll also use the 2015-2016 Narrative Lectionary/Revised Common Lectionary Cross Reference developed by CTS alum, Rev. Ryan J. Baer, pastor of the Ridglea Presbyterian Church, Fort Worth, Texas. Ask to join the group, search the files, and bingo, you can easily access RCL resources that match the NL.
What resources do you use in your general ministries that meet special needs? Tell us what’s working for you. I’d love to try it out, and pass it along.
Sarah Erickson serves as Director at the CLL. She has special interests in the role of music and worship in faith formation. She serves on the Committee for Preparation for Ministry in her presbytery, and is involved in Christian education and formation for children and adults at N. Decatur Presbyterian in Decatur, GA. She currently serves as the President for ALLLM, and you can find her on Facebook, on Twitter @saraherickson and occasionally on Pinterest.