I need help. Lately, I’ve been waking up earlier in the morning than I want to because so many ideas are spinning around in my head like a Ferris wheel. I feel like a carnival worker with a cigarette hanging out of the corner of my mouth trying to manage it all.
While my You Were Made for This podcast is on hiatus I’ve had time to think about what I could do to make the podcast better. So many ideas are circling around in my head. Maybe even try something different than a podcast.
I need help in helping others
I started You Were Made for This in November 2018 for the purpose of helping people of faith find more joy in their relationships. This focus arose out of the pastoral care work Janet and I do with missionaries. Over and over again we continue to see the biggest challenge missionaries face is in the area of relationships. For example, relationships with:
- Sending agencies
- Supporting churches
- Their families
- Individual supporters
- Their past and how they were raised
- Their own identity
- The people they minister to
I need help building upon what I’ve already done
Over spent the past 20 years or so I have been thinking about these relationship issues, and creating training materials to help missionaries and other people of faith find more joy in them. I’ve taught workshops on five continents to help missionaries learn to better care for each other, and to find joy in the relationships they have with each other.
But this topic of relationships – interpersonal relationships, is so broad, with many different topics or issues related to it. They’re the chairs on the Ferris wheel waking me up at 4 am.
I love what I’ve been doing, but I’m feeling the need to narrow our focus and center our efforts on one of the many ideas that would be the most helpful to the people we serve.
This is where I could use your help. I’m asking for your feedback on what specific areas in the broad area of interpersonal relationships that you would find most beneficial for me to address. You can leave your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of this post. Or you can email them to me at email@example.com.
I need help focusing on what’s best
For example, here are some relationship topics that I wonder if people would find helpful to be addressed:
- How to handle conflict effectively
- Church and ministry relationships
- Becoming a better listener
- Handling dysfunctional relationships biblically
- Caring for aging parents
- Relational Intelligence
- Working under leaders who shouldn’t be leading
- Making friends
- Group relationships
- Taking shallow relationships to a deeper level
I need help in knowing what people would prefer
Regardless of the topic most beneficial to focus on, there are different methods of delivering the content about that topic.
Should I continue with the podcast? Maybe switch to a blog format as I’ve been doing during the off-season of the podcast? I wonder.
Another possibility that intrigues me is starting an online mastermind group. I facilitated such a group for pastors for 4 years. We called it our “Upper Room Group.” We also had mastermind sessions as part of our personal growth conferences for missionaries that we did for several years.
The format of these in-person mastermind meetings involves members of the group selecting one topic for discussion for that particular meeting. The topic selected is voted upon from a list of topics submitted by group members before the meeting. As the facilitator, I make sure we stay on one topic, discussing and listening well to each other. This kind of group and meeting can easily been done online.
Finally, I wonder if there would be any interest in an online book club. I would facilitate a discussion about the book in ways that relate whatever book is discussed to the daily life of the book club members.
Whatever method is used, the intent would be to develop a community of like-minded people around a shared interest. I can envision where this might appeal to missionaries serving in parts of the world who feel relationally isolated.
What About You?
Is your mind ever like a ferris wheel with so many ideas waking you at 4am? It helps to get those ideas out of your head by speaking about them out in the open as I’ve done here.
I hope you help me out by responding to the possibilities I’ve described. I really would like to know more specifically what you think the greatest needs are.
Other Relationship Resources
Last week’s blog post, “Remembering: The Great Antidote to Pride, Fear, and Anxiety”
Episode 052 of You Were Made for This, “Six Examples of Listeners Using This Podcast Content”
THEM -The Richer Life Found in Caring for Others
There’s more where this comes from
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Our blog posts and the You Were Made for This podcast are sponsored by Caring for Others, a missionary care ministry. Click here to donate.
All of your suggestions for conversation look really good, especially with the current dysfunctional climate going on in society today. Specifically I think loneliness and handling dysfunctional relationships biblically would serve well today. Thanks for asking.
Thanks for your feedback, Lois. I’ve been reading more and more about the problem of loneliness in our society. It’s something that needs to be addressed from a biblical perspective.
These are the topics that interest me the most.
•How to handle conflict effectively
•Handling dysfunctional relationships biblically
Perhaps a podcast that focusses specifically on just one of these topics? I like being able to listen while I am going places. And I always love your interviews!
Thanks for asking!!
Thank you, Marie! I like how you narrowed everything down to just 3 areas of interest. I will keep this in mind and add it to the mix of the other responses that are coming in.
And I like what you said about podcasts and being able to listen to them while you go please. You can’t do that with a blog. It’s so much easier writing a blog post than all that goes into producing a podcast episode. During this off-season of “You Were Made for This” I’ve so often thought “I wish I was talking into a microphone about this topic. It seems more personal that way.”
I like the blog idea and would love to be in a mastermind group where I could improve my listening skills.
The three topics for your consideration:
Church and ministry relationships
Fostering relationships with your adult children.
Learning to communicate with people from other cultures.
Thanks for your feedback, Teri. You’ll be at the top of the list when I am ready to start a mastermind group. And I love your suggestions for topics to address.
Hi John: Personally I have found so much that I needed to think about in all the topics you have covered. I especially liked the active feedback format that you used in your final series this year, i.e., a listener expressed her situation and ask a question to which you invited us to answer by sharing what we would suggest. You shared several who gave their advice, then you spent an episode giving your answer/advice. Could you do this occasionally in your forthcoming podcasts again?
Thanks, Carol. I’m glad you found the topics I mentioned to be thought-provoking. You and I are on the same wavelength about getting listeners to the podcast involved by responding to each other. Those last few episodes from the recently concluded season 7 had interesting and insightful comments from our listeners. Your suggestion to do more programs like that is a great idea and something we will do more of when season 8 rolls around.
Hey John, the relational issues that most confound me are when two people or groups have exceptionally different ideologies or ‘identities’. This could be economic, ethnic, cultural, educational, circumstantial or any of the things that make us different. But more specifically when they create moral dilemmas that tend to challenge scripture (especially among Christians), often divided down generational lines; LGBTQ issues. Marriage issues, Political issues like racism, Work ethic, and quite frankly secular humanism vs Traditional Judeo-Christian values. These things are fragmenting our society at alarming speed, yet they often become the pink elephant in the room that Christians either argue about, or try not to talk about; under the guise of tolerance not wanting to offend. In Matt 21: 12-16, Jesus drove out the money changers, but then sat down with the blind and lame, healed them, and the children praised him. So who are those we should drive out? and who are the blind and lame we should heal.
Thanks for your input, Chris. The issues you raise are certainly challenging ones. They’re worth considering when season 8 of “You Were Made For This” resumes.