I don’t know about you but I’m finding it harder and harder to change gears. No comments about age please 😉 As we change pace from summer routines to fall routines I feel like I’m grinding gears as I try to shift into the new, faster paced season. How about you? Am I the only one?

Here are 4 tricks I’m using to help me get into the swing of things. I’m thinking these 4 things through in two realms: the ministry/work realm and the personal/family realm. Do you have any tricks or tools of your own you find helpful this time of year?

1.       Remembering why – I’m intentionally taking some time to remember why what I do is so important, the difference it is making to others and to the world. Don’t over-inflate the importance of what you do, but don’t miss the importance of what you do and who it is impacting both at work and home. Remember it’s not just what we do in these places, it is who we ARE in these places. We are joining God’s work in the places (neighbourhoods) where we live, work, study and play. What difference is that making? Why is it so important? Starting a new season with the “why” gets my motivational juices flowing.

2.       Prioritize – Yesterday as a ministry team we took some time to identify our top 3 priorities over the next 6 months. I found it incredibly stress reducing as we enter the fall season. It’s like saying “If we accomplish these three things well together we will be doing great – everything else is bonus.” Set your top 3 priorities for the next 6 months for work/ministry and for your home/personal life. It is freeing and clarifying.

3.       Compare calendars – We did this yesterday as a ministry team too, asking questions like – who is travelling when and what’s that mean for the rest of the team/family? When will we block time together? What events/activities are all hands on deck? What kind of season are we entering? How do we stay strong in this season we are entering?

As you compare calendars, here are some dates for our Atlantic Canadian peeps. Make sure to add the event dates to your calendar that are helpful to you and your team. You can click on each one to find out more.

Potential Impact Sept 30-Oct 2 – To help grade 12 students recognize God’s voice

Neighbouring Month October 2016 – Daily challenges invite us to use our senses to recognize God and join in. 

Link Oct 21-23 – Clergy teen escape weekend 

National Day of Prayer for Kids – Nov 20

Canadian Youth Workers Conference Nov 25-26 – Exceptional training for anyone who works with youth

Summits Jan 16-17, 2017 – Idea sharing, sharpening skills and community building with CBAC Youth Pastors, Children’s Pastors & Camp Directors. Hugh Halter will be the speaker challenging us at the summit! More info coming.

Hugh Halter Jan 18 9am-4pm – One day of training in joining God in our neighbourhoods  

NEXT Children’s Ministry Conference April 1 – Immanuel Baptist, Truro

Springforth May 12-13, inspiring middle school and high school students to join God

Tidal Impact July 22-29, Bridgewater & Halifax NS, joining forces to impact lives & communities

It is going to be an awesome year in our neighbourhoods!

4.       1 New Thing – I like using these transitions in seasons to try 1 new thing – one in the work/ministry realm and one in the personal/family realm. Trying to add more than one can be overwhelming. Adding nothing makes things stagnate. In the CBACyf world we are trying something new in Neighbouring Month. In the personal realm I’m adding group interval training into my running routine. (I can hear some of you groan!) What 1 new thing are you doing this season to keep growing and experimenting?

I hope that helps as we change gears this season.

Please share your tricks and tips for changing gears.

-Renée @r_embree #1neighbourhood

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