Pastor’s Corner (10/7/2021)

 In Pastor's Corner

During my Study leave this year, I participated in the International Maxwell Certification training. Due to problems with my leg, I was unable to attend in person, but I was able to do the training virtually. It was an intense experience and I am still processing all I learned. One of our opening presentations was by the founder John C. Maxell on the DNA of the John Maxwell Team. The core values of the John Maxwell team (JMT) was one of the things that drew me to this organization. The DNA, or core values, of this organization aligns with my own personal values and my perception of the core values of the church. The founder and leader of this organization, John C. Maxwell, is a person of faith and served as pastor for many years before beginning the John Maxwell Team. The DNA of this organization includes 10 core values that resonate for me and may resonates for you as well. Now I would like to explore the first 4 values.

Value #1-We value people. Maxwell went on to say: “Value people every day, believe in them unconditionally and love them.”

Valuing people is the very heart of the Gospel and our reason for being. We live in a time when many people do not have a sense of their own value. Sometimes I struggle to get all the tasks of ministry done and I fear that valuing people, including myself, gets lost. So, Maxwell gives us a clear reminder of where all life and ministry begins: valuing people.

Value #2-Have a positive attitude. Attitude makes all the difference. It sets one apart.

In this season of divisiveness and struggle it is so easy to get caught up in all the negativity. As we struggle personally and as part of a global community, we are facing challenging times. Having a positive attitude will enable us to face and deal with these challenges. I know I struggle with this personally, with all that is happening it is so easy to become negative. Having a positive attitude will not solve all our problems, but it will enable us to face them head on and move forward.

Value #3-Grow Daily. The only guarantee for tomorrow is that one grows today. “As we grow we grow people around us.”

I suspect many of you have come to realize that this is a high value for me. I strive to grow personally and professionally every day. Our willingness to embrace growth and change impacts our life as a community as well. It can be uncomfortable to grow, but growth and change are part of our lives as living beings. So, instead of fighting it we are invited to embrace it.

Value #4-Lead by Example. Like Jesus, we want to invite people to “follow me.”

We are blessed to have a few leaders in this congregation who embrace their roles of leadership. We grow as leaders by following leaders. As Maxwell pointed out, we are blessed to follow the greatest leader, Jesus. But it cannot stop there. By following great leaders, we become able to lead others and help them become the leaders God calls each of us to be. As a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregation we affirm the importance of lay leadership in our life together. The laity is called to work in partnership with the pastor. We have lay leaders in worship and an Elder at the Table every Sunday as a reflection of this value. Our Board is made up of Lay Leaders. We are called to follow Christ and then to lead others in our journey together. I’ll talk more later about the central place of leadership in our life together.

I hope my reflections on these core values inspires us all to ponder our personal and shared values. Hopefully we will be empowered to face even the most challenging times as we value people, work on developing a positive attitude, grow daily, and lead by example.


In peace and joy,

Pastor Karen


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