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Rhythms of Planning w/ Pam Morgan

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In this episode, our host Cara Garrity interviews Pam Morgan, GCI Operations Coordinator. We wrap up our summer series on healthy rhythms with Cara and Pam discussing rhythms of planning.

“No matter what it is, whether it’s a local congregation event, whether it’s a big event that you’re doing, no matter what it is—I think we have to be willing to take a step back and say, okay, what did we do wrong? What can we do differently? And I think it’s important to do that debriefing and to have that conversation and to be open and honest and to know it’s not about taking it personally. It’s not about failures, but it’s about how to make it better. And not only make it better for those that we’re serving, but for those who are coming alongside on our team and doing the serving, because we want it to be a good experience for them too.” —Pam Morgan


Main Points:

  • What makes planning an important piece of establishing healthy church rhythms? 2:38 What makes rhythmic planning vs. arhythmic planning helpful in the life of the local church? 4:48
  • What elements do you consider when establishing a rhythm of planning? 7:23
  • What do you consider when planning an annual budget? 15:26
  • What do you consider when planning an annual event/activities calendar? 19:00
  • How do you integrate the worship calendar into planning rhythms? 22:12
  • Share with us an example of a time you experienced rhythms of planning contributing to the healthy growth of your local church? 26:10
  • What do you do when things don’t go as planned? 31:02


  • GCI Worship Calendar – our liturgical calendar that outlines the seasons of the Christian year and holy days that are commemorated; during each season we celebrate and remember the good news of Jesus.
  • Planning & Budgeting – a resource demonstrates the importance of developing an annual church calendar and budget to ensure that the congregation’s resources, time, and money are being invested in alignment with the church’s mission and values.
  • Outreach Planning Checklist – a tool to help your team plan for an event.


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Program Transcript

Rhythms of Planning w/ Pam Morgan

Welcome to the GC Podcast, a podcast to help you develop into the healthiest ministry leader you can be by sharing practical ministry experience.

Cara: Hello friends, and welcome to today’s episode of GC Podcast. This episode is devoted to exploring best ministry practices in the context of Grace Communion International churches.

I’m your host, Cara Garrity, and today I am happy to interview Pam Morgan. Pam is GCI Operations Coordinator. She’s married to Mat and has a son, Matthew, with daughter-in-law, Natalie, her granddaughter Talia, and then daughter, Jessica, with son-in-law, Johnny, and their grandson, Henry. She, surprisingly to some, has a motorcycle license, and one of her new favorite activities is zip lining, so Pam’s pretty adventurous.

Pam, thank you for joining the pod today. It’s good to have you.

Pam: It’s great to be here, Cara. Thanks for the invitation.

Cara: Of course. So today the focus of our time together is establishing rhythms of planning in the life of the local church. Before we get started, I’d love to know what’s important to you about this topic today.

[00:01:11] Pam: Oh planning! I’m a huge person who likes to plan and organize. I’m more of a behind-the-scenes person. For me, planning is fun actually. I know some people don’t think that’s true, but I actually think it’s fun because I think it gives you an opportunity to think about what can be, but also what can’t be.

But also [to] think about the people that you’re working with or the people that you are coming alongside, your team and getting input. And I think it’s also an opportunity to be able to bless those that you’re coming alongside, but also those that you may be doing the event for and just taking that all into the context.

There’s a lot in the details. I think those details are important and I think they are what make things work ultimately for the betterment, and in this case, the betterment of getting people to get out into their neighborhoods, to get into rhythms of spending time with our Father, Son and Spirit and bringing and coming alongside in whatever it is that they’re working through.

[00:02:17] Cara: Yeah. That’s so good. And I love hearing you say that it’s fun. We need people that planning is fun for, right?

[00:02:23] Pam: Yeah, we do. It’s not everybody’s thing. But if we don’t, I think we can have some utter chaos maybe.

[00:02:38] Cara: Yeah. Absolutely. So that gets me to my first question that I think is really foundational. What makes planning an important piece of establishing healthy church rhythms?

[00:02:43] Pam: Wow. So, I think if we don’t plan. I think that, as I mentioned before, we’re not preparing, we’re not actually doing our part. It’s very easy as an individual to plan and to not plan, to just go and do our own thing, right?

But if we’re trying to take in everybody, and we want to hear everybody’s voice and we want to be in collaboration and in teamwork, I think it’s important for us to take that first step of planning, whatever we’re going to do. No matter how big or how small it is, I think it will help those that we’re working with, but also those that we’re working for.

And I think it’s very easy sometimes to think, oh, that’s not important. Let’s just do it. We can just do it. You have your people who want to just charge forward and just do it. That works sometimes, but I think if you’re really trying to be intentional as we go further and further into whatever the details are, if you have a plan, then it makes it a lot easier for everybody to be on board and everybody to be part of the process.

[00:03:46] Cara: Yeah. And I love what you’re saying about people being able to be part of the process and it makes it easier to be team-based, right? Because more people can have a voice, more people can participate when things are orderly and planned out in advance.

[00:04:02] Pam: Right. I agree because if we don’t—if we’re thinking about team-based, I, as an individual, can go and do something.

You can do it all. You can work your fingers to the bone and get it done. But if you’re trying to think about your team and being able to relegate duties or to just work together, if you don’t have a plan, nobody knows what to do. And then it becomes one of the silos where you’re doing it all and you’re in charge, but nobody else knows what to do.

And they may support you, but it can become very adversarial too. And I don’t think you can do as good a job if you’re not working as a team.

[00:04:37] Cara: Yeah. Oh, that’s so good. That’s a really important point because when we think about healthy church, we want to be a team, we want to encourage participation.

We want to see that happening in our churches. And I mentioned rhythms of planning as well being part of healthy church rhythm. So, what makes rhythmic planning versus arhythmic planning helpful in the life of a local church?

[00:05:02] Pam: I think rhythms are important in the local congregation.

I think if we don’t have the rhythms we’re just going along, we’re maintaining the status quo. We’re not actually anticipating the needs or finding out what’s going on. We don’t know what’s happening around us because we’re just deciding. We’re not looking at, for example, the worship calendar.

We’re not following the worship calendar. We’re not bringing that into part of our planning. We’ve just decided we’re going to do this event at this time every year, and we’re just going to keep doing it. Or we’re going to do this activity every year at this time. And I think if we don’t look at the rhythms, we don’t look—personally, I feel like we start with the worship calendar.

That’s where we start our rhythm. And if we’re not doing that, then what we’re doing is we’re saying we don’t need you. We’re just going to do whatever. We’re not working as a team. We’re not focused; we’re not participating together. Rather, we’ve just decided we’ve always done it this way, and so we’re always going to do it this way.

There’s no opportunity for change.

[00:06:04] Cara: And I really like that phrase you used, like anticipating the needs. Because it’s thinking about in advance what are we going to do? It brings that level of intentionality and creates that room for discernment. It’s not just let’s keep doing things the way that we’ve always been doing it.

And when you plan in a rhythm, rather than just doing things in a rhythm, it gives you that opportunity to come back and assess, to think about what might be different too.

That’s really good. That’s really good.

[00:06:34] Pam: I think you also get to tweak things. You get to say, this didn’t work, or maybe our timing was not right for this. What are we not seeing? Even when we debrief, or whatever we’re thinking about anticipating, are we not seeing what is really there?

Have we just focused so much and put our all into this so no matter what, we’re going to do this. And we’re not willing to step aside and let the Holy Spirit guide it and listen to the Holy Spirit. Be open to that.

[00:07:02] Cara: Yeah. So, it creates that space of reflection versus oh, we just have these things that we want to do and so we’re going to plan it and then we’re going to do this, and then we’re going to do that.

But we really have this rhythm of reflection and then planning. And so maybe it’s that idea of responding instead of reacting to what’s going on as well. I like that. Yeah. That’s great.

And so, when you are thinking about establishing a rhythm of planning, what are some of the things that you consider?

[00:07:30] Pam: I think probably where I start is going to be budgeting. And thinking about how is this going to impact everything? And I think I start planning, if you’re talking about timing, I would say traditionally in GCI, we start planning in October. The year before the year that we’re going to do things, we start planning our budget.

We start thinking about financially, how are we going to be able to do the things that we’d like to do? And I think that’s where you start. You have to have some place to start. Why not? Unfortunately, it’s the money. The money does sometimes decide what we can and can’t do. And it doesn’t always have to, but we have to start somewhere.

I think I’m starting there and having that conversation with, sitting down with the pastor and the Avenue champions and laying out your worship and bringing in the worship calendar, but looking at it from the following year. What are the things, within the worship calendar, in the rhythms of the worship calendar, can we do with all of our Avenues? Maybe crossing over into those Avenues, how are we going to work these things through? What are the thoughts and ideas that we’d like to come to—whether it’s an event, whether it’s the worship service, whether it’s a connect group, whatever it might be, how can maybe those things come together?

But if we don’t start with all of us working together, then we’re not team based. We’re not really working as a team. Rather we’re individual Avenues and the pastor, and we’re not overseeing and looking at working together. So, I think we have to start with the budget, but we have to work together as we plan out the year.

And I do really think it’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to sit down and plan the year. You’re going to have, not just the worship calendar, but you’ll have the timing of everything and how is that going to flow in your environment, where your neighborhood is, because it’s not going to be the same in every neighborhood.

How does that flow in your congregation? Because you may or may not have children. You may or may not have teens, and so you have to think about how that works with our membership and come together. So, I think that’s where I would start.

[00:09:43] Cara: Yeah. And I think that you named a couple things that I think are really important when as a local church we might be starting to develop our rhythms of planning. First, that rhythm of starting in October to plan for the next year.

I think we might think, that’s so early; we haven’t even finished this year. It’s not even the fourth quarter of this year, why are we planning already? But if you start planning in January for that year, you’ve already lost so much time.

Can you talk a little bit more to us about how you’ve found that helpful to start planning in advance?

[00:10:21] Pam: I think if we wait until right before we’re ready to have whatever it may be we’re doing, we have run up against—you will probably run up against people who have things already planned. There are people who are planners: there are people that do things at the last minute. But I think if you don’t start in October, because October’s when you’re going to have to put together and find out.

You have to think about monetarily, what can you do. But also, if you’re going to use other venues? If you’re going to plan things in people’s homes, even if you’re talking about connect groups, or if you’re talking about doing an event and you’re doing it outside, do you have the space? Is the weather permitting?

If you’re not thinking about how things will go, you may be waiting until it’s too late to actually do it. I think if we don’t take into account the calendar year on top of the worship calendar—we have a calendar year, we have rhythms, and you don’t want to be doing stuff in a very busy time of year if you have families.

If you are planning to do something around holiday weekends, three-day weekends are not a good time to do things because families typically are going to travel or they’re going to go camping if it’s the summertime. Or they’re going to do things. So, you want to think about those things. How does that work?

And if you wait until, even if you waited until a month before, you’re probably not going to get the same support from your membership. You’re not going to have the same resources that you might have had if you had planned ahead of time. I think there are a lot of things we don’t think about the little details.

Some people can work very easily and work under that pressure, others don’t. And I think we have to think about how is this impacting those who are going to serve. And those people that we want to serve, are we hitting them at the right time? Because if we don’t, if we don’t think about planning, we may be planning a winter event. Let’s just say we’re going to go plan this winter ski event, and we’re going to invite all of the people and we’re planning it for March.

Well, really is March really the best time to plan a winter event? We have to think about the rhythms, as I said earlier, in the community, within our congregation, within our families, within everything. How is that all working together? And if it’s not, I think it’s because maybe we haven’t planned. We have not taken the time to actually look at the calendar, the physical calendar, not just the worship calendar, but the annual calendar as well.

[00:12:55] Cara: Yes. And when you take that time in advance, even before that calendar year starts—and that thing about October is nice too because that’s actually right before the worship calendar starts as well. It’s before, in a typical year, advent would start. You can think about it, you can take your time to lay all those calendars next to each other.

Look at what’s happening in the neighborhood, look at venues and plan for a year, and not just plan jumping from event to event, always feeling like you’re behind.

[00:13:28] Pam: Yeah. I think it also helps everyone else to know, here’s what we’re going to be doing for the whole year. And they can plan their time around it. If you’ve taken that into consideration and they can get excited about it and want to be a part of it and be included and be part of that team that’s coming alongside and doing whatever.

October’s kind of a slower month too. It’s a time when you’re resetting, you’re maybe thinking about what did you do last year that didn’t work. And you’re reassessing it and rethinking maybe we shouldn’t do that this year. Let’s do something different. Or tweaking, whatever it may be. And that’s part of that sitting down and planning. Otherwise, you might not think about that.

You may have debriefed about something you did in January, and you debriefed about it in January. It’s now October. Maybe you need to bring out the reminders of everything that happened for whatever you were doing in that time of year and say, okay, is this going to work or not? Did that time of year work well for what we were doing?

Do we need to reassess and re-tweak things a little bit?

[00:14:27] Cara: Yeah, that’s good. I think the image that I have—it gives you a little bit of room to breathe to plan with intentionality for the year.

[00:14:36] Pam: And you’re not overwhelmed. You can say, we’re going to do all these things, and then you’re thinking, how are we going to do all these things?

We’re a small congregation. We don’t have the strength and energy. That’s where I think it gets you excited if you’re intentional about, planning only a couple of things maybe, and thinking about what can we do to make this really good. And the timing so that it works for everybody.

[00:14:58] Cara: Yes. And the other thing that I think you said that’s really critical is you come together, and you make that annual plan as a team. The pastor and the Avenue champions because then we are being team-based even in our rhythms of planning because that supports our team-based on a day-to-day. It supports the integration of the Avenues. I think that’s excellent.

You mentioned even starting with a budget, what are some of the things that you consider when putting together an annual budget? Oh

[00:15:34] Pam: I think I start with—I mentioned earlier, as part of that budget planning, you start with your calendar.

I think you sit down not just with the worship calendar, but the annual calendar. I think you look at what you did before. And if you haven’t done anything, you brainstorm what is it that we’d like to do. But if you have done something in the past, I think you start from there. What did it cost us to do this maybe in the past?

We have to sit down the things that we know are going to cost money. You know that if you have a paid pastor, you have their salary and their benefits. You know that you have your hall rental. You know that you want to do certain things. You want your worship experience to be a wonderful experience.

So, these are things that are set that you’re actually planning and looking at. And those numbers may not change. They may be adjusted a little bit, but I think when you start there and where are we? Have we lost some members? And we just don’t have the same income that we’re going to have this year that we had last year.

So where do we need to make some cuts and changes? Where do we need to make some tweaks so that we can still do the things we wanted to do? But maybe we don’t do them as elaborately as we have. Or maybe we go outside, and we look for more fundraising. Whatever it may be. But I think you have to start with the bottom line is how much money do we have?

And after we take off the givens, the things that we know we have to be able to pay for, then we can start from there and start working within our Avenues. And how can we work together as we lay down whatever it is that we’re planning to do? And can we overlap some of those things? Can some of those expenses be covered by multiple Avenues?

Because we’re working together, we’re not independent silos where each Avenue’s doing their own thing independent of each other. And yeah, it’s working, but you’re still an independent silo and you’re really not working because it’s not bringing everyone together as a team. You may have a team in your particular Avenue, but are you teaming together with the whole entire congregation in all the different areas?

So, I think it is important to have that foundation of starting from somewhere. We always say we have to know where your money is. There are things that we can do that don’t cost money too. And I think that’s part of budgeting.

I think it’s part of thinking outside the box and saying, okay, what can we do that’s not going to cost us anything? What are the things that we could do if we have other resources? Maybe we charge for something.

Maybe we’re going to do a neighborhood camp. And we’re going to charge to have the kids, because they’re coming for four days straight, and we’re providing certain things. And we are going to charge a fee, maybe a small fee, to help cover those costs. Maybe we’re going to go into the neighborhood, and we’re going to actually ask for donations for the snacks or for the supplies that we need.

So, I think we have to be outside the box. And be willing to try new things if we don’t have the funds that we would like to have. Just because you don’t have the money, doesn’t mean you don’t do things. You find ways to be creative and hopefully you’ve got people on your team that are creative and thinking about that there are other alternative ways to do things if the money doesn’t show up.

[00:18:47] Cara: Yeah, that’s good. I really like that aspect of thinking outside the box in terms of budgeting as well, but that’s part of what we think about, right? When we put together an annual budget. That’s good.

And so, we talked about putting together an annual activities calendar, how you can plan, okay, these are the activities for the year. But then when it comes down to planning that actual event, that one event that’s happening, that particular day or month, whatever, what do you consider when planning that single event?

[00:19:21] Pam: I think timing. I think you work backwards. When is it that you want to have this event? And then I think you start working backwards from the time that it’s actually going to take place and start setting up a timeline of when things have to happen.

And who are your needs? Who are you going to be when you’re—let’s say you’ve already decided what the event is. And that’s where I’m going to come from, is that we’ve already decided this is what we’re going to do because we’ve already done the research. We’ve already looked at our neighborhood, and we’ve seen this is what our neighborhood is looking for.

This is something that we can do. We physically can do within our congregation and resourcing and serving in this way. After that’s established, then I say start working backwards and making sure that you have a timeline that is comfortable for everybody. Not just you, maybe as the overall person, but does this work for everybody who’s coming alongside?

Is it realistic? Is it too much? Are you meeting too many times to be able to do this? Or are you meeting just enough times? As you get closer to the event, you’re going to want to have more meetings as you get closer. But I think you have to work backwards. And I would say when I look at something, you need three to four months to plan something, to do it effectively.

More is always better because then it gives you time if things don’t go [as planned], you have more flexibility. Because you just don’t know. The shorter time you give yourself, the more pressure you’re putting on yourself as well as everyone else to make it all come. The more you give yourself, you can get things done ahead of time and you can do them as you have time.

Because we have to remember, most of our people are volunteers. They have other lives. They have children, they have teenagers, their activities in their kids’ school. They have life outside of the local church service, or the church activities. They have friends, they have family. And so, we want to be able to work together and to honor that.

And to remember that they’re volunteers and to give them flexibility and the opportunity to be able to pour into what that timeline looks like too.

[00:21:31] Cara: That’s really good. I like that you started first, especially with once you’ve done the research and been intentional about what the activity is.

Because that’s part of where you start with planning an event. Is this the right event that we want to have? And then you go from there with the logistics and making it happen. But that’s really important. And then I really like that idea that you start with a timeline, and you again think from that team-based perspective.

You’ve already mentioned a couple of times about the worship calendar and how that’s considered when we’re planning and creating our rhythms of planning. Is there anything else you’d like to add about how the worship calendar can be integrated into our rhythms of planning in the local church?

[00:22:20] Pam: I think that when we look at the worship calendar, we shouldn’t look at it by itself. I think we have to look at the rhythms of our members as well. And I don’t know if I remember if I said this or not, but I think it’s important to find, and the rhythms of what’s happening in the neighborhood that we’re serving.

Because it may not work well, depending on the timing. I think of different areas have different times that they’re doing certain things. If you’re living and your congregation is in a farming community and it’s harvest time, you don’t want to plan something, even though it would be a perfect time to do something based on the worship calendar to do it now. You won’t want to do it because you’re not going to get the input from your members if they’re farmers too. And you’re not going to get the community to be a part of this because they’re busy. We have to think about those things, and we have to adjust accordingly.

And there’s always something happening within the worship calendar that’s going to work well within your areas. And I think we have to take that into account depending on where we are, depending on what needs we’re trying to meet. But also, what needs we can meet because of where we are located.

Because every area is different around the world, so we have to think about that no matter what we’re working on and how we’re approaching it. Just because it works well in one area, in one congregation, it’s not going to be the same in another congregation. So, we have to meet the needs for our individual congregations.

[00:23:50] Cara: Yes. And that’s so good because that gets the contextualizing of the worship calendar to the actual lived lives of the congregation, of the neighborhood and community that you’re in. And not just following it in a detached mechanical kind of way. Because when we talk about the worship calendar, the worship calendar is all about the rhythms of telling the story of Jesus’ life.

And is there any kind of context where we can’t tell the story of Jesus’ life? No. And so we just are intentional in our planning about what that looks like. What it looks like for us to tell the story of Jesus’ life in a farming community, in this other community, in this setting.

And to do it in a way that makes sense, it comes back to, we’re always talking about incarnational ministry, place-sharing, right? And that again it, if you’re intentionally planning, you have time to look at that. But if you’re a little haphazard at planning, you might just be like, Oh, it’s Advent, so we have to do this big thing. But then you didn’t realize it was harvesting season or something like that.

[00:24:54] Pam: And I think we can take it as a checklist too. We can look at, yes, okay, I need to do this, I need to do something here. I need to do something here. And we aren’t taking into account what you’re saying.

We’ve just become a checklist we haven’t thought about the rhythms, and we haven’t thought about Jesus and where he is in this picture. He’s everywhere. So, no matter what we do, it’s partly, it’s explaining him, it’s teaching him, it’s bringing people to him. And I think that’s where we have to be open to know that we can only do what we can do.

And that’s all he wants too. He wants to bring people to Christ.

[00:25:30] Cara: Yeah. And I think that’s the beauty of the role that planning plays. This takes that time to see and reflect and pray and discern. God, what are you already doing in our midst? I think it creates kind of a barrier for us against just doing the checklist.

Because when we are stressed and pressured on the time, then we’re like, okay done. But when we’re planning in advance and we can have that intentionality God, where are you showing yourself right in our community, in our midst? How can we join you in that and participate in that?

Yeah. That’s so good. That’s so good. It’s a beautiful thing. Pam, I’m wondering, could you share with us an example of a time that you’ve personally experienced having rhythms of planning contributing to the healthy growth of your local church?

[00:26:25] Pam: Yeah, I can. It’s been a long time ago. Probably over 20 years ago before we really knew, we were probably—our congregations were a little bit more separated in the sense we were doing our things. Even before doing neighborhood camp was the thing to do, we were doing a VBS in my congregation.

And we decided that we would try it. We had the numbers. We had a very large children’s ministry and a large teen ministry. And by large, I mean we probably had 25 children under the age of 12. And we probably had 15, 20 teens. So we had a good group of young people, and we had the members that could support were there.

As we decided we would do a VBS, and we would invite the community or the neighborhood to our VBS. And there wasn’t something that was a small task. But I do remember a lot of planning went into it. Maryanne Stevens was my cohort or my counterpart. She and I were the ones who were working on it.

And we worked as a team, and we could not have done it if we had not. If we did not have the support of the members, of our pastor, it would never have worked. And thank goodness and thank God, because he gets all the glory for this, it went well. And we did it for several years after that.

And we would tweak it, every year we’d do something different. One year I think we had an actual parenting class while we were doing the VBS where the pastor was going through a book, and we gave the book away to the parents for those who wanted to stay. And they went through this book, and that was a really big hit for the parents.

But at the same time, we had our children, and our teens were helping with the VBS. They were taking lead roles. We had adults though. We had prayer partners. Everybody was part of this. And we were inviting our neighbors. And we were inviting other congregations, other GCI congregations in the area as well, because we were able to do that.

But it took work. It was work, but it took planning, and it also took teamwork. And when I look back now, I think, wow, it’s hard to believe what we actually did it. But boy, God blessed it, and the kids loved it. We got to see how to work as a team really, because it wasn’t individuals.

We all had to come together, and we had to plan, and we had to make sure it went well. And we all had our roles or maybe our individual roles, but we were still working as a team. And I think all that goes if we weren’t working as a team, I could have seen it [inaudible]. There were things that didn’t work, things went wrong, because there’s never anything that’s perfect.

But it also helped us to learn what to do differently the next year. It helped us to see what we needed to do to make it better and to make it more engaging or whatever it may have been. So, I think we can always learn. I’ve never done an event that was perfect. And I know I never will.

I’m not the triune God; I don’t expect that. But I do expect to do a good job, because I want it to be a blessing to those that we’re doing it for. But at the same time, I know I’m going to have to learn, and I have been willing to see mistakes were made so that we can make it better the next time.

No matter what it is, whether it’s a local congregation event, whether it’s or a big event that you’re doing, no matter what it is—I think we have to be willing to take a step back and say, okay, what did we do wrong? What can we do differently? And I think it’s important to do that debriefing and to have that conversation and to be open and honest and to know it’s not about taking it personally.

It’s not about failures, but it’s about how to make it better. And not only make it better for those that we’re serving, but for those who are coming alongside on our team and doing the serving because we want it to be a good experience for them too.

[00:30:43] Cara: No, absolutely. Thank you for sharing that experience and kind of all aspects of that experience. And that kind of gets into—you answered this for the most part. So, I want to see if you have anything more that you want to add, but that leans into my next question. What do you do when things don’t go as planned?

[00:32:00] Pam: Ah, oh man. In the moment, sometimes you don’t maybe handle it the way you should. Been there, done that? I think when things don’t go well it never seems to happen in the times when you want, in a good time or in the right time or the right place, or it’s just not.

But I think when it doesn’t go well, it’s hard to say, hey, I was wrong, and I didn’t do this well. And yes, that’s difficult, but we have to be willing to do that. And as hard as that may be, I think it’s important for us to do that. If we’re in charge of an event or we’re coordinating it or whatever it may be, if we’re not willing to say we did it wrong, what does that say to our team members?

That they have to be perfect, that they have to do it right, and they can never make a mistake. And also, it doesn’t give the flexibility, I think, for us to know that there are better ways to do it and we may not have the best way. And that’s not easy.

Sometimes it’s really hard to step back and go, okay, I know this is not right. I know I’ve done this wrong. I need to be told. And sometimes that’s hard and I think we have to be open to that. We have to be willing to listen and to hear, hey, there’s a better way to do this and let’s do it; let’s try it. I think that makes it, because we have to remember again, Who’s this for?

Who is this? What is this about? It’s not about me. It’s not about my team. It’s about the relationships that we’re building. It’s about bringing people to Jesus. It’s about having those connections. And those connections will not, and those relationships won’t happen if we’re not willing to adjust accordingly and learn from the mistakes we’ve made and hopefully maybe change them and find a better way to do things the next time around.

[00:33:04] Cara: Yeah. That’s powerful, as painful as it is.

[00:33:09] Pam: It is. It’s hard to say you’re wrong. It’s hard for all of us. For anybody, it’s hard to say, I didn’t do that. And I need to be corrected and I need [inaudible]. But it’s how we approach it too. It’s how do we approach one another when we’re dealing with things that go wrong and how do we handle the situation. And we never handle it probably in the heat of the moment. But hopefully we learn and hopefully we can help one another to do it better the next time.

[00:33:35] Cara: And even as I hear you describing that, it really makes me—I just hear in you the heart that like, planning is a ministry. It is a ministry, a ministry of its own. And to bring that heart to it, that it’s not about me, it’s about what God is doing in our midst is an incredible thing.

And so, what final words or encouragement, Pam, would you leave with our listeners?

[00:34:09] Pam: I would say just go out and try. Just keep trying and learning. Don’t not do something because you don’t think you can. Don’t not do something because we don’t have the numbers. Don’t not do something because we’ve never done it before. I think we have to be willing to step out and on faith, we do the work behind, we plan, we do the things right.

But we also can step out on faith and know that God’s got us. And he’s going to be there alongside you. He’s not going to abandon you. He’s not going to forsake you. He is there, especially if you’ve started with him, and you remember that this is about him. Yeah. I think he’s always going to be there and he’s going to come alongside and he’s going to guide.

I think we have to be willing to say yes. No matter what, we have to be willing to take that step and say yes and be excited about what the opportunity, what the potential, what might happen. Because it could be amazing and if we’re not willing to take that chance, we are missing out on something that is there and just waiting for us to grab onto and go with it.

[00:35:21] Cara: That’s an exciting encouragement. That’s the space where possibilities can come alive in prayer, discernment. Oh, that’s excellent. This has been such a rich conversation. Thank you, Pam, for sharing out of your experiences and your expertise in planning and putting together events and budgets and keeping things going.

I’m not finished with you yet. Of course not. I do have a series of fun and exciting questions for you.

The first thing that comes to mind will be sufficient. Okay.

[00:36:02] Pam: Are you ready? I’ll do my best.

[00:36:05] Cara: If you had to delete all but three apps from your smartphone, which ones did you keep?

[00:36:19] Pam: Oh, you haven’t looked at my phone. I don’t have that many apps.

And by the way, Androids are in, I’m sorry, iPhones are out. Androids are in.

[00:36:34] Cara: This message has not been approved.

[00:36:38] Pam: I would have to keep WhatsApp. Okay. Okay. Yeah, because I use that a lot. Because people who have iPhones can’t get messages from people who have androids like pictures. Let’s see, what else would I keep? Oh, I have an app called Aura, I think it’s aura. It’s an app that my kids send me pictures. I have a, what do you call it? A  frame at home. Oh. And my kids send me pictures of my grandchildren. Yes. So, I have that, so I couldn’t get rid of that, and probably Outlook. Yeah, that’s right. Because I use that a lot. So those are the three.

[00:37:20] Cara: Alright, that’s solid. That’s solid. Alright. If you could instantly become an expert in one thing, what would it be?

[00:37:34] Pam: Patience.

[00:37:35] Cara: Oh yeah. That’s good. That’s a good one. All right. If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?

[00:37:45] Pam: Oh, anywhere in the world, anywhere. Venice.

[00:37:52] Cara: That’s nice. So put that on your bucket list. All right. If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

[00:38:06] Pam: Unlimited supply of one thing? Time with family.

[00:38:13] Cara: Oh, that’s nice. Yeah. Oh, so wholesome. You have such nice answers.

[00:38:21] Pam: You sound surprised.

[00:38:23] Cara: No, it warms my heart,

[00:38:27] Pam: Oh, thank you, Cara.

[00:38:28] Cara: This next question is good then, because it’s what is one of your favorite activities with your grand babies?

[00:38:35] Pam: It’s spending time with my grandchildren right now because they’re so young. They’re 18 months and seven months, so it’s just playing with them. Yeah. Just being the innocent and going for walks and just seeing what makes them smile. That’s fun. I think that right now I’m sure that will change as they get older, but yeah that’s my favorite thing.

[00:38:56] Cara: Oh, I love that. And then final question, what is your number one recommendation in Charlotte?

[00:39:04] Pam: Wow. If I were going to do an activity, which I recently did, it’s called the—it’s a museum and it’s called, okay, I’m taking a step back here. The Illusion Museum. Oh, yes. If you’ve never been to the, I know people say, oh it’s not, it was so much fun.

It was a neat place to go to, and you can do it in about an hour and a half. And old and young. I’ve heard people say, oh, the old people wouldn’t like it. I had a blast when I went. My husband and I, we went with another couple, and it was great. It’s a fun thing to do and the people there are amazing.

So that is check out the Illusion Museum in Charlotte.

[00:39:45] Cara: Yeah. I’m going to have to add that to my list. All right. I do have one more question for you. Alright. What is your favorite restaurant?

[00:39:57] Pam: Capital Grill. That’s like for very special occasions. Okay. It’s really nice restaurant in uptown Charlotte.

[00:40:04] Cara: Ooh, that’s good to know. Okay, I’ll put it on my special occasion bucket list. Yes. That’s good.

Pam, thank you so much for spending time with us today. It has been a pleasure. And we love to end our episodes with the word of prayer. So, would you be willing to pray for our churches, our pastors, ministry leaders and members today?

[00:40:24] Pam: I would love to. Definitely.

Thank you, Father, Son, and Spirit. We just come before you to thank you, Lord. We thank you for all of our pastors, our Avenue champions, our membership, our Lord, we just ask you to watch over and protect them. We thank you, Lord, for the opportunities that you give to each and every one of them.

And we just ask you to bless them. Bless them with their planning. Bless them Lord, as they are in the middle of events or activities, connect groups, worship services, whatever it is, Lord, that they put their hand to do. We just ask that you honor it, that you come alongside them, and that you guide them, help them to be open, Lord, to trying new things and give them the encouragement that so many of them need right now.

And I just pray and ask this all in your precious name, Jesus. Amen.

[00:41:10] Cara: Amen. Until next time folks, keep on living and sharing the gospel.

We want to thank you for listening to this episode of the GC Podcast. We hope you have found value in it to become a healthier leader. We would love to hear from you. If you have a suggestion on a topic, or if there is someone who you think we should interview, email us at info@gci.org. Remember, Healthy Churches start with healthy leaders; invest in yourself and your leaders.


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