How I Do Ministry: Shalom

I’ve always been curious of how other pastors and church leaders work. So I shamelessly ripped of’s How I Work series and began to ask other church leaders questions about their work. 

Shalom Agtarap

Location: Seattle, WA
Your Ministry:
Associate Director of Strategic Faith Community Development in the Pacific North West Annual Conference
One word that describes how you work:
Current mobile device:
iPhone 7
Current computer/laptop: 
MacBook Air

Describe a recent work day

Had a one-to-one meeting with an organizer friend. (began at 9am)

Drove 80 miles to do a consultation with a church who feels ready for the next stage. They’ve done a real estate review of their properties, morale, finances, and attendance are up, and they’re ready to start conversations about what’s next.

Drove home (another 2 hours in the car) to finish emails for the day.

Helped facilitate a community meeting to organize around affordable housing. (finished 9pm)

Gadgets/apps/tools that you cannot live without

My phone. 

Apps: Spotify (a playlist for every mood), Relax Melodies (best white noise) and Duolingo (keeps me sharp); zoom weekly

What’s your workspace set up like?

My space at work is a cubicle in an open floor plan – it’s not conducive to video conversations or phone calls so I tend to work remotely. As long as I have a desk to spread out on, my laptop, earphones, and my phone, I’m good to go.

Best short-cut; life hack you use

Honestly? Stretching. This work, unlike local church life, has shifted me into a sedentary life style. 

Our bodies aren’t designed to just sit and in my 30s I’m feeling the ache after an hour. 

How do you keep track of what you have to do

Everything goes into the calendar – a zoom call, a conference call, workout time, dinner with family – it’s second nature now and allows me to then look back and see how I’ve spent time – and ultimately ask, “am I in balance?”

What’s one of the least favorite aspects of what you have to do

Working remotely. I love it and it can really hamper visibility in a new work environment; people don’t feel like I’m around, so it makes it easier to discount or be ignorant of the work I do. 

Passion/Side project of yours?

Developing trainings for folks, clergy and church leaders, built on the framework of faith-based community organizing. 

What gives you joy about your work

Picking up on themes in people’s work and mirroring it back to them. 

Clarity allows people to stay grounded in what’s real – and when people are creating new places for new people, they can succumb to delusion or depression. The work can create isolation which can lead to either living in a grandiose vision of what could be or doubting the good work and connection already done – the reality is often somewhere in the middle. When in our conversations and shared learning times, I can help a person hear what’s true, that nothing is all good and all bad; joy springs up.

9) Currently reading/ or anything you’d recommend one to read
“The End of Power” by Moíses Naím
Always recommend:
Community: The Structure of Belonging by Peter Block
Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by Adrienne Maree Brown

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