Revisiting Transition Principle #2
My second key piece of advice for those in transition was to take time to get to know the people and businesses near the church.
I'll stick with this advice, and think it is valuable part of a good transition. l will say, though, that the ways that these opportunities may manifest themselves are more than I initially suggested.
For example: one of the best opportunities I've had to get to know the people of Hickory Withe is through attending the Hickory Withe Community Association meetings. These monthly meetings are very well-attended and have presented me with some new relationships with key members of the community.
Another qualification I'll mention: I haven't taken advantage of as many of these opportunities as I could have, so far. Not nearly as many. And that's just fine-- because my primary focus isn't on the community at large, or on the town of Hickory Withe. It's the members and regular attenders of Hickory Withe Presbyterian Church. The goal of getting to know the "neighbors" of the church is important, but it is a fairly distant second place to the first goal of knowing my flock.
My friend Bob Burns gave me advice unto that end before I left St. Louis, and he's right. Focus on your people first...