One of our Partners is the disaster relief arm of the Baptist Convention of New York, called "Send Relief." Here is an excerpt from a recent update about the efforts after the earthquakes in Puerto Rico:

 

When the final rumblings of a 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Puerto Rico subsided last Tuesday morning, the island residents' challenges were just beginning. One week later, the ground still shakes as tremors and aftershocks—some as high as 5.9 on the Richter scale—have plagued the area each night since the original quake. The need for volunteers and generous givers to Send Relief's earthquake response for Puerto Rico won't dissipate for quite some time.

Jonathan Santiago, a friend of mine while he lived in Syracuse, NY, has become Send Relief's missionary to Puerto Rico. John has repeatedly described the mood of Puerto Ricans as being "on edge." Many are even sleeping in their cars or outdoors in fear of further seismic activity. "As long as the ground is shaking, people are not going home," Santiago said recently in a Baptist Press story. "We expect the number of people we are serving to continue to grow."

As of Monday morning, Santiago reported that earthquake response efforts in the area have helped provide 5,800 meals and 28,000 bottles of water. "Please pray for our churches, the pastors and their families and the volunteers who are giving their all," he said, "The volunteers are my heroes because they're trying to serve the people 24-7 while still having to take care of the physical and emotional needs of their families."

Here at Randall Church, we have a team of people who are on call to go when disaster hits domestically. Is this something you'd be interested in joining? Email Partnering@RandallChurch.org for more information.

I bumped into a friend from college over the Christmas break. He and I haven't done a very good job of keeping in touch with one another, and before we realized it, 15 years had gone by without any contact. It was really good to catch up. We talked about our families, and about our jobs... and of course covered some of the stories from the good old days. It was like we picked up right were we left off. 

I had not realized that my friend had left music education to pursue vocational ministry full-time and was now a Minister of Music in a prominent church in South Carolina. Our conversation shifted to talk about some fo the similarities and differences of working in the public marketplace, against working in the ministry of the local church. One question seemed to linger. If a church leadership team only get a few hours a week to interact with it's key leaders, and key volunteers, how can we be sure to make that time count? 

After our discussion, I decided to read a book that has been on my to-do list for a while. The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard has been published for 35 years, but still tallies as a best seller year after year. It's a quick read, but here are the main ideas all at once. In one minute, be able to communicate a goal. In one minute, be able to praise someone's efforts. In one minute, be able to redirect when someone is out of alignment. 

After writing the book, Ken Blanchard became a believer, and changed his focus to an organization called Lead like Jesus. Turns out, Blanchard found that Jesus used these very same tools when interacting with his disciples while in ministry himself. Funny how that works isn't it? The best ideas are the ones we learn from Jesus!

Our time is valuable. Our time together as church people is limited. How can we make the most of it? Maybe these simple truths will be useful to you as you interact with one another in the coming year. 

Pastor Milo

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