Here is what I told our wonderful staff on Thursday, at the meeting when we told them about the lay-offs. I think it will suffice to answer any questions:
I recently read a book in which our relationship with God was compared to a dance. The author made the point that we dance with Him, but He leads in the dance. Being led in a dance can be exhillerating, and thrilling, and confusing, and sometimes a little frightening. When you place yourself in the arms of another, and in the control of another like that, it can be tough. However, we must learn to put our trust NOT in our ability to dance, or to predict God, but in Him directly as the leader. When He dips, we lean back; when He twirls, we get dizzy, etc. When we can’t trust anyone else, we trust Him.
A couple of months ago, when the Cadre – Sr. Leadership team looked at the budget numbers, I began to be concerned that lay offs were in Pine Cove’s future, so I started calling around to friends about the possibility of jobs. The next day, I told the other Sr Leaders that if we came to the point of lay offs, I was wanting to be laid off. For a while, it looked like we had avoided lay offs, but not anymore. Many other ministries and businesses are having to do the same thing in the current economic atmosphere.
I have been a shepherd of this staff for 7 years and if my leaving could save 2 or 3 of their jobs, then I wanted to be first. I believe that 1 Peter 5 teaches that a shepherd leads by example; I believe that John 10 gives the example of a shepherd as one who sacrifices for his sheep. With these in mind, and the idea of telling anyone here that I saved my job, but they had lost theirs; the idea that maybe others might be able to keep their jobs, I am one of those being laid off.
It has been a super honor to under-shepherd these people – as Hebrews 11 talks about, these people are like the saints listed there… living and ministering by faith, and in my opinion, the world is not worthy of them. I am proud to have been a part of these people’s ministry and lives.
It isn’t all easy, but God is faithful to lead. Please pray for me, and the other people laid off. If you are personally aware of a great opportunity that might be a good fit for an operations manager, an HR/shepherd, a carpenter and handyman, an IT and network wiz, or me, let me know so I can let them know! Also, keep praying for the great ministry of Pine Cove, and the staff still there, and the leadership there.
Thanks a ton, everyone, for your prayers. Keep dancing with the Lord… and letting Him lead. I hope this answers any questions that were coming.