Content by Rev. Micah James, CCA
Administration is an important task at any time of the year, but especially Advent. Advent is a season of beautiful traditions, meaningful worship, and community gatherings. One of the main tasks of administrators during this season is to work behind-the-scenes to make sure the focus of the seasons stays the focus.
During this three-part series of “Admin In Advent”, we will highlight some of the ways that administrators (yes, that’s you) can bring meaning and purpose to this season. We hope you enjoy the series and find the Advent season full of meaningful anticipation.
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'” – Luke 3:1-6
Preparation goes hand-in-hand with proclamation in this passage from Luke. As ministers and leaders, admittedly, Advent is not our best seasons of preparation. Between the extra events, parties, fellowship, worship, family gatherings, and fun – sometimes preparation takes a back seat. We know this story, right? We shouldn’t have to prepare that much, right? Wrong. Each advent season brings with it the Good News, the constant, but the context in which it is proclaimed changes by the day. So as leaders, here are ways to approach preparation with fresh eyes and clear heads.
- If you treat it as ordinary, so will your community – The energy and effort you put into something will manifest itself in the engagement and participation of those who experience it. If you treat this season as rote, ordinary, or just-another-holiday, so will your community.
- Let them smell the bread baking – When I was a kid, my parents had a bread machine. As the bread reached its final stage of baking, the smell permeated the room. That is when my mouth watered and I tried to bargain my way into line for the first piece. The anticipation of the bread, smelling it for several minutes before I tasted it, added to its tastiness. Allow the same during this season. So many of us jump to Christmas, but there really is something to be said for anticipation. Walk with your community in this spirit and prepare them to “taste and see” the Good News fresh this season.
- Prepare your own heart – Leaders can get caught up in leading during a busy season. Find a time to worship, to pray, to sit in God’s presence – it is not a waste of time, but a sustainer of your Spirit and a gift to your leadership. Leaders who regularly worship and pray are more grounded and energized during the chaotic moments.
Preparation is key to proclaiming the Good News. Find ways to “Go Tell It From the Mountain” this season.