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Balance is a word that I’ve been aware of throughout my almost 30 years in Christian ministry (March 6, 1990, I began my first ministry position as a youth pastor). But I think it’s fair to say that I’ve only really begun to understand it in the past year or so. There’s plenty of roles and responsibilities that have to be balanced, but for me I think it comes down to maintaining the stability of family, ministry (both my work in international missions and my volunteer roles at church) and ‘self-care and identity.’
Believe me, there definitely was a time where ‘identity’ and ‘self-care’ wouldn’t have entered the picture as I thought about living out a ‘delicate balance’ in life. But as the past few years have unfolded and the opportunities have presented themselves for me to understand spiritual formation, identity, self-care, and the like, it’s become apparent to me how much I’ve missed or even ignored in this area. Now it seems like I’m confronted with and being challenged to integrate these ideas on a daily basis. And as I have begun to see how much my own holistic well-being matters to my family and my ministry, I’ve started to see this ‘balance’ idea and the importance of ‘identity’ showing up all over the place…..even as I started to take a closer look at the way I help serve churches to develop partnerships and to serve in mission.
I began to see that similarly to how matters of ‘identity, self-care and spiritual formation’ have become the missing third leg in the delicate balance of my life (family and ministry being the other two), churches can’t thrive and achieve ‘balance’ by only focusing on the task-driven aspects of partnership and mission either. Identity, and in the case of local churches, a global church ‘identity’ is crucial in knowing WHO we are together as the global church before we endeavor to pursue WHAT we believe we want to do in partnership and mission. Our ‘identity’ as the global church is truly the place our focus and understanding needs to be understood and paid attention to (the third leg in achieving balance), similarly to how I needed to understand and focus on my own ‘identity’ to be more in balance as a person.
Well, lest you think that this similarity between my own life and the work I do with churches is something that I’ve been thinking about and putting together for some time now; the truth is that this only really became apparent to me as I was writing this newsletter! So balance it is! Whether we’re talking about our own lives or about the church, perhaps the missing ‘leg’ is to be found, not in working harder OR smarter, but in the ‘delicate’ place where the Father can tell us who we are (identity). No matter if we’re talking about ourselves as individuals or as the church.
For the Kingdom, Randy Schmor
Prayer – For my heavy travel, see below
- Exploratory/Vision Trip in Lebanon – 3 NAB leaders (including myself) will take part.
- Hispanics for Christ (HFC) & Potential/Current Church Partner Site Visit(s) in Argentina and Paraguay – HFC Director Geoff Hartt and I will be spending time with a number of HFC’s and NAB Gateway’s church partners in these 2 countries.
- Romania Mission Team Training Retreat in Roseville, CA – I will be preparing a team of NAB Regional Ministers (and spouses) for a mission trip to Romania in November.
- ‘Blue Ocean’ Cohort in Chicago, IL – Networking (and learning) at this NAB Missional Living/Spiritual Formation event.
- ‘The Bonfire’ Gathering in Chicago, IL – Networking (and learning) with alumni of present and past ‘Blue Ocean’ Cohorts and other NAB leaders.
- Great holiday gatherings with family and friends which included having our son Kameron home for a few days in early December.
- Successful training events in January and early February (both Short Term Mission Leader Workshops & Sister Church Partnership Orientations) at Calvary Baptist, Easton, PA; Aplington Baptist, IA; Grace Baptist, Calgary, AB; Brentview Baptist, Calgary, AB.
- Opportunities as well to preach and report at Aplington Baptist, IA, and Calvary Baptist, Parkersburg, IA.
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.
1 john 3:1A