Learning new things became part of my every day in 2020. You, too? Coming off an exciting 2019 with clear goals for 2020 kept me on my knees, off the couch, and exploring new tribes of communicators to keep telling the good news of Jesus to families in the most creative ways possible. Here are three big things of the hundreds of new things I learned in 2020:

Stay Learning
It’s exhausting to be in a constant state of learning, but it’s also invigorating and builds our joyful obedience muscles. With the time I worked from the home office, I took online classes, watched instructional YouTube videos, listened to podcasts, read books, joined and engaged with closed Facebook groups which would grow my toolbox to be a better communicator. Ministry with children and families is not event planning, it’s communicating. I quickly learned which organizations were putting out relevant content and which weren’t. There was no time to waste on lamenting, repackaging what used to work, and anything prefaced with ‘back before COVID…’ 
What will you learn before Easter?

Stay in Relationship
Joyful obedience and momentum was the goal. The most important relationships floated to the top and made for long phone calls several times a week, extended verbal processing of what I was learning with others, and oh the time to grow relationships through online Bible study in community with new friends and old. Several relationships grew deeper and more fruitful as other disciples began reaching out to explore doing stuff better and more creatively together. This was hard and took the most time, but the investment was worth it. I am better together with others and just knowing I wasn’t alone gave me courage, helped me think through the logistics of the most innovative season of ministry ever. In the words of one of my fellow-innovators, “I LOVE putting our McKids front and center to bring others to Jesus. Get some rest…we have LOTS to do in the new year.”
Who will you share the journey with in the new year?

Stay Brave
I found tribes with a Spirit of YES! Submitting to all of the authorities over me, I asked the questions which would get a YES and began to discover those who could mentor me to be my best-self-right-now so that I could confidently say, “I was created for such a time as this!” We have brothers and sisters who have and are risking their very lives to share the love and knowledge of Jesus in harsh and uncertain environments all around the world. These folks had faithful parents, grandparents, Sunday school teachers, and local churches, who realistically trained them that following Jesus would be hard, would be filled with challenges, and they’d face opposition at every turn. Yet they still said YES! Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not of the Lord. It is in the problem-solving when courage roars the loudest.
Who helps you be brave and how can you spend more time with him/her/them in the new year?

Bob Russell shared in his blogpost of December 27, 2020, of Cam Huxford, Minister of Compassion Christian in Savannah, Georgia. When asked to explain why the current situation actually energizes him, he said, “All my life, I’ve felt guilty when learning of Christian leaders in other parts of the world enduring hardship and suffering persecution.  I have been so pampered and spoiled.  Now it’s my turn.  Thankfully I don’t have to show up in heaven like a trust fund baby who served in the most comfortable country, in the most comfortable time in history.  I may actually have some wounds and scars when I stand before the Lord.  But the reward is not to the pampered but to those who have been faithful in battle.”

“There will always be big problems to solve, that’s what leaders do, and we must lead with hope and belief that they are solvable.” – Dan Reiland

Listen to this blogpost as a podcast at In the Trenches with DeDe Reilly.