DRCO: Working Alongside Congregations and Communities
Rev. Devon McAnally | August 25, 2014
I have been richly blessed to have the opportunity to serve Disciples Retirement Community of Oklahoma, Inc. (DRCO) since October of 2010. In 2014, DRCO made the strategic decision to move out from under the umbrella of the Christian Church in Oklahoma. DRCO’s focus is to care for senior adults throughout the Oklahoma region. Part of the focus now involves the development of a new ministry that provides benevolent care to senior adults aging in their home by offering “presence and practical assistance.” It is a collaborative partnership working along side congregations and other community organizations. It is a volunteer based program that focuses on building multi-generational relationships through caring relationships that develop over time.
A Pastoral Learning Curve
This ministry is outside the scope of any ministry I ever imagined for myself. While I have been richly blessed, forward momentum has been slow, tedious, and extremely challenging. The learning curve has, at times, left me questioning my call. The lack of traditional ministry activities has left me with a sense of isolation. When I speak of isolation, I don’t mean lack of support but rather a lack of pastoral comradery. When I attend a pastoral event, I realize that the struggles I face have little similarity to the problems faced by other pastors. There is a sense of grief with this realization.
Much of the work I do is very business oriented. Many of the organizations I work with are secular in nature. I often feel a tension between the need to walk in the professional secular business world while also operating in the more relaxed congregational ministry setting. It is not uncommon for me to spend my day working on budget analysis, strategic planning, business planning and development planning. As a result, I am working on redefining my understanding of ministry. I am in a constant state of reflection on how I understand ministry. This is a major learning curve at this point in my ministry.
Ministry and Not Just a Job
I offer gratitude to those who support the ministry of DRCO. I thank the DRCO Board of Directors for their supportive leadership. I thank all the individuals at NBA who have offered encouragement, knowledge and support. It is the small successes and the support of those I encounter that help me find affirmations that “yes” what I do is a vital ministry and not just a job.