Even though it’s happened, I still can hardly believe it.
We merged. We moved. We’re here.
After months of conversing, praying, thinking, and planning, it happened. And, again, I still can hardly believe it. But here’s the good news, no great news: it’s going so much better than I thought it would. Being a perennial optimist, my hopes were high—sky high—and somehow my expectations have been exceeded. It’s comforting to know that I’m not alone in either my optimism or evaluation. The whole team is singing the same song.
Undeniably, this is a God thing.
You don’t just merge two long-standing ministries—complete with established ways of doing things, strong personalities, successful histories, and future plans—without incident. It just doesn’t happen; it can’t happen.
Until it does.
So here we are. The transition has been more than seamless, it’s been downright fun, exhilarating even. Already many of the “pros” we talked about prior to merging are materializing: joint projects, synergistic brainstorming, spirited fellowship, and directional planning. The future is looking bright, and the present is already pure joy. Hardly a day goes by that someone doesn’t have some new idea that they’re promoting with bubbling enthusiasm. The atmosphere is pregnant with potential and we all feel it.
Here’s a case in point: the 2011 Year End Report. We worked long and hard on this. There were many late nights which turned into early mornings. The deadlines were tight, the ideas were many, but we pulled it off. It was hard work, yes, but it was also a real joy. The end product was better, far better, than any one of us could have done alone. What’s more, the theme of the Year End Report was itself synergy, which means “working together.”
This will, I am persuaded, be the first of many such successes. As Scripture says, “two are better than one” (Eccl. 4:9) and “it is not good that man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18). This latter verse, of course, deals with the creation and blessing of marriage, but the more fundamental point is that we are social beings who usually function better together than we do alone. Here at Light Bearers we are seeing this borne out.
On a somewhat sad note, our friend and long-term team member Matt Parra has taken a call to Australia. And though our team has taken a serious hit with Matt’s departure, we’re taking a collaborative and team-centered approach to it. (Be sure to read Matt’s excellent blog post). Matt’s move to Australia will likely open doors for ongoing partnership between him and his new team and Light Bearers. In our view, and Matt’s, he is still a team member here at ARISE, and always will be!
More than a decade ago, then-First Lady Hillary Clinton wrote a book titled, It Takes a Village. I’ve never read the book, but have always loved the title. I would modify it slightly and say: It Takes a Team.
ARISE has always had a great team. Now that team has grown, numerically, qualitatively, and spiritually. And that is a good thing, a very good thing.
Here we are!
Here we go!