Our Christmas Review:
And once again, Christmas is upon us!
In the hustle and bustle of Christmastime, it’s easy to find ourselves lost…we all, to some degree, can get caught up in the unavoidable commercialism and social pressure of Christmas. Yet I have found that when I make some time to quiet my mind, it is a great season for reflection. With the new year just around the corner, it is naturally a wonderful time to look back on the past year, recalling the joys and the struggles, the lessons learned and the growth we have seen in ourselves and all around us.
Since last Christmas much has changed, and in many ways we are all still adapting to the new normal. It has been a busy year personally and professionally. Today, I want to share some of the highlights of this year and take some time to show my appreciation for everyone who is on this journey with me.
This has been a year of growth and change for my family. Last August my wife, Gina, and I helped relocate both of our kids to Boston. Parenting young adults has been a big learning curve! We are learning and finding people to lean on in this new stage of our journey as parents.
Gina’s health coaching business has grown steadily. InFocus has partnered with her to do some wonderful work with three unique groups that started out as clients and took the step to become health coaches. We are especially proud to say that about a third of her team is made up of people of color. You can read more about our partnership – CLICK HERE. We are also grateful to share that Gina’s parents in Australia are finally coming out of lockdown!
This year, one of my personal goals regarded my own spiritual growth. I had been feeling stagnant in my spiritual life and knew it was time to create some intentional space to learn and grow. I have enlisted in a three-year cohort through Fuller Seminary’s Doctoral program and began working with a spiritual director. Together, we are exploring my relationship with Christ in some deeper and refreshing ways. It has been so revitalizing to my soul!
I want to finish with a personal accomplishment: I am likely to surpass my 2020 record in miles and elevation in mountain biking! My love of mountain biking is only growing!
This has been a busy year for me in ministry. I am proud to look back on what InFocus and our affiliates have accomplished. It’s been a great year for collaboration!
- Training Coaches to Help Churches in Transition
In conjunction with Micah Dodson, I began working with leaders from a denomination in the Pacific Northwest who are coaching churches in transition to aid these congregations in their revitalization. We trained these leaders in the coaching process and saw significant growth. Here is what the leaders shared about our work:
“Over this past year, our district contracted with Dr. Gary Reinecke of InFocus Ministries to train several turnaround coaches. Our aim is to better serve, support, and resource our pastors who have been called to lead churches in need of revitalization. Engaging this partnership with InFocus immediately resulted in fourteen of our pastors receiving monthly coaching. No doubt these numbers will continue to rise as our coaches gain experience and additional pastors begin to hear of the impact and value from those already engaged. The benefits have been significant. Our pastors are encouraged because they feel less isolated. And, because they are experiencing personal growth and developing their leadership capacity, their leadership teams are also being impacted. This has been a worthwhile investment. I highly recommend Dr. Gary Reinecke and InFocus Ministries. He is a ‘master’ coach who will serve you well.”
- Leadership Collective
We are so proud of our Leadership Collective! In collaboration with Russ Siders, we focused on multi-ethnic churches in 2021 with a focus on building and developing strong leaders who are passionate about developing leaders, beginning with the newest disciples and ending with a culture of ministry multiplication. The goal is to raise up church leaders and equip individuals to grow and transform their communities.
- Five Disciple Coach Habits
In 2020, InFocus and our affiliate, Micah Dodson, began a workshop called Five Disciple Coach Habits. We hosted another round in October 2021, examining these five habits and offering a series of private coaching sessions to follow. We are so pleased with how the webinar turned out and gained so much from our coaching sessions!
- Christian Coaching Tools
My colleague, Bob Logan, and I launched the Christian Coaching Tools platform and are in the final stages of publishing Christian Coaching Excellence (coming out in January 2022). Our vision is to raise the level of Christian coaching around the world by developing the best coaching resources and tools.
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- Disciple Coach
I am in the process of writing a new book with my colleague Colin Noyes in Australia. In this book we introduce two unique perspectives of a new disciple’s spiritual journey:
Move the starting point:
First, we move the starting point of a new disciple’s journey. As people go about their everyday business and encounter a disciple of Christ who is willing and able to engage in spiritual conversations, their awareness is triggered on a subconscious level until it happens enough times that it surfaces to a conscious awareness. A more familiar–and common–place in which people are initially aware of the beginning of the disciple journey is when they enter a church or participate in a discipleship program.
Second is the guiding principle of a disciple coach: “What a new disciple discovers for themselves will empower them to take the next step on their disciple-making journey.”
The most difficult part of this year has been discovering how to help pastors and church planters navigate the pandemic and enter a new normal. We at InFocus are infinitely thankful for our clients and affiliates! It is because of our work together that we have made it through these unprecedented times and accomplished so much along the way.
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Thank you for your continued support of InFocus and our work!
I would love to list the names of all the leaders that serve faithfully around the world, but due to confidentiality I am unable to do so. I will just say that our combined efforts result in the mission to make more and better disciples, develop leaders, and plant healthy churches that reproduce healthy churches.
Merry Christmas to you all!
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash