March 2014 Director’s Desk

Mission and Purpose

 “Vision Statements and Mission Statements are the inspiring words chosen by successful leaders to clearly and concisely convey the direction of the organization…a Mission Statement defines the organization’s purpose and primary objective” (www.mindtools.com, Manktelow and Carlson).

Many organizations have Vision, Mission and Purpose statements.  These hold a group of people together around a common core and become a tool for evaluating what, when, where, why, and how in any endeavor the organization takes.  The Salvation Army has a very succinct mission statement that has withstood decades and remained the standard by which are service is meted:

The Salvation Army is an international religious and charitable movement organized and operated on a quasi-military pattern and is a branch of the Christian church…The motivation of the organizatio is love of God and a practical concern for the needs of humanity.

This is expressed by a spiritual ministry, the purposes of which are to preach the Gospel, disseminate Christian truths, supply basic human necessities, provide personal counseling and undertake the spiritual and moral regeneration and physical rehabilitation of all persons in need who come within its sphere of influence regardless of race, creed, color, sex or age.

Quoted from The Songbook of The Salvation Army

The value of every individual undertaking to write a vision, mission and purpose statement for their life is immense.  This same type of guide keeps the activities and endeavors of a person true to who that person is.  As a Christian, our overriding mission is to serve Jesus Christ and others in His Name.  How we do that is evaluated against our own statement.

Focused Life and Living is the very first module at our Cohort experience in Lagunua Beach, FL in April.  The information is at the Cohort tab under Leader Training.  We would love to have you.  It is inexpensive but definitely anything but ineffective.  God has worked in the lives of many who have attended and entered into this training.  Prayerfully consider your attendance.

Enjoy the updates for this month’s theme!

Grace and all good!

Joanne Holz, Major

Team: Together Experiencing A Mission

“You have to admit that Jesus was an incredible leader.  He hired twelve incompetent guys.  None of His disciples had any experience in becoming “fishers of men.”  The only one with any real education was Judas, and he was Jesus’ only turnover problem.  And yet, with this diverse, seemingly ragtag group, Jesus changed the world forever.”

Laurie Beth Jones – Teach Your Team To Fish

Forward by Ken Blanchard

 The world continues to change and how Christians are making an impact in the world today is a subject of much debate. The Barna Group, a “firm that is widely considered to be the leading research organization focused on the intersection of faith and culture” (Barna.org), conducted a study among unchurched adults that showed nearly four out of every ten non-churchgoing Americans (37%) said they avoid churches because of negative past experiences in churches or with church people” (Millions of Unchurched Adults Are Christians Hurt by Churches But Can Be Healed of the Pain).

There’s much more that must be researched about why people are unchurched or about how Christians are making a change in the world today. I found one thing very interesting in the Barna research and that had to do with the discovery that communication and relational issues were often cited as hindrances for those individuals seeking healing and forgiveness in these situations.

That does not sit so well given the fact that living in community and working in team was first and foremost God’s idea as reflected in the work of the Holy Trinity.  In Genesis 1:26 God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.”  There are other scripture references that clearly give us the knowledge that we are to experience God’s mission here on earth by working together to change the world. But knowing does not always equate with doing.  James 1:22 reminds us that we must not only be hearers of the Word, but doers as well.  Otherwise we deceive ourselves.  And, we may just be the very ones who discourage others at the same time.

Perhaps there is at least one overarching thing we can observe about Jesus and His disciples that we may be overlooking today.  The disciples spent every waking minute learning not only what they needed to be, but also developing their skiils in how they were to accomplish that together. Jesus guided them along the way as they worked through communication issues and as they went about resolving their conflicts.

He modeled for them the principles they needed to put into practice in building up their team and allowed them to learn how to problem solve collectively.

As we think about the Christian communities to which we belong, one question that comes to my mind is, “how much intentional time is set aside for training and development” in areas such as:

  • Communication
  • Resovling Conflict
  • Problem Solving
  • Team Building

The next question that naturally follows is, “would we stand a better chance of changing the world if our interpersonal and communication skills were so in tune that we truly appeard as a team that was cohesive, collective, congential and committed?”

What are your thoughts?

Pamela Bosworth – Assistant Director

The Salvation Army – USA Southern Territory

Jack McDowell School for Leadership Development

Sources:

Jones, Laurie Beth. Teach Your Team to Fish. Three Rivers Press, New York, 2002.

“Millions of Unchurched Adults Are Christians Hurt by Churches But Can Be Healed of the Pain.” 2010.         The Barna Group. <http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/12-faithspirituality/362-millions-of-unchurched-adults-are-christians-hurt-by-churches-but-can-be-healed-of-the-pain>.

 

Note:  Visit www.MissionMover.org to download “TEAM: Together Experiencing A Mission” resources containing information about the Biblical approach to building and sustaining an effective leadership team.

 

Teach Your Team to Fish

by Laurie Beth Jones
reviewed by LaTaurus Johnson

In theory, a professed believer should see their work as a way to live for the glory of God.  Effective teamwork is always the ideal.  Our isolationist culture, however, often inhibits the ability to create truly effective teams. Throughout the Bible God used collective, cohesive units to effectively accomplish His will.   Jesus incited a small group of individuals to spread the message that changed the world without force or technological advances.

Believers are taught to look to Christ’s example to garner wisdom on how to live. In “Teach Your Team to Fish,” author Laurie Beth Jones, uses principles based upon Jesus’ interactions with His disciples as suggestive ways to more effectively lead teams. The book goes beyond focusing simply on Jesus’ humility and asserts that Christ was able to lead a ragtag group of individuals effectively by inspiring them to buy into a mission. Further, like Jesus, leaders must embody the mission and motivate their companions to be willing to abandon their reservations and other interests for the sake of the mission.

Jesus’ example enables us to understand what amazing things can happen when we fully commit to a mission and fully commit our talents to the purpose of the organization. Jones asserts such buy-in is only created when leaders seek genuine community and relationship with those they lead. Leaders must be transparent and engaging and even those that command large organizations must find some way to make the organization “feel small” in order to assist all employees to feel valued.  When employees and managers are connected and bound by a common purpose, cohesive teams are formed allowing the organizational mission to become priority because everyone is invested in the mission.

The Leader as a Coach: Building an Effective Team

P Curnow Photo 3 13Mission/Purpose

 

In order to bring the right people to the Team, you need a clear Mission or Purpose Statement that people can become passionate about and work toward. As Jesus was recruiting His team, His new disciples were privileged to be asked to follow this Rabbi and His new teaching; to be associated with Him, to take on His “yoke”, His colors and designation, to clearly demonstrate to others their direct connection with this teacher.  Jesus in turn distinctly stated, that once a disciple, what their mission/purpose would be: “I will make you fishers of men” (Matt 4:19) He then provided training, mentoring and equipping for them to fulfill His unmistakably stated purpose.

What a great lesson to learn.  The Salvation Army has the best Mission Statement:  To preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to meet human need in His name without discrimination. For each of your teams, whether Social Service, Corps, Kroc Center, Conservatory, etc, establish a purpose for that Team.  For Community Relations and Development Teams, we have used this purpose statement: To Raise Visibility, Volunteers and Monies to Enable the Ministry of The Salvation Army.  As a Team member, I now know: what our focus is, and what we are to accomplish for planning and budgeting. I also know what I will be responsible for and held accountable to complete.  What is the purpose of your Team?  Don’t assume they already know!

Celebration

 There is a wonderful story in I Chronicles 28 and 29 (the structure for a Capital Campaign minus Minute 31) of God giving David a vision for the first Temple. David gave that vision to his advisory board (leaders of the tribes) and to all the people of Israel. They then completed a capital campaign, and raised more monies, materials and good will than needed to complete the Temple. David prayed a thanksgiving prayer (I Chronicles 29:10-13). And then an amazing thing happened: David commanded the people to praise God and thank Him for His provision for the Temple.  This was not a 15 minute, “let’s eat a donut” kind of celebration.  It was a day-long celebration.

You may not have received a vision for a Temple.  You, as a leader, have been led by God to work at and complete some portion of God’s vision for our ministry. Have you stopped to celebrate the provision and the direction God has given you?  Have you stopped to celebrate the milestones of accomplishment along the path to completing the vision?  Have you stopped to celebrate all of your Team members for their energy, commitment, expertise, gifting, and passion to complete the vision? Have you stopped to celebrate your donors, board members, professional staff, volunteers, officers and leaders?  Celebrate Team and individual accomplishments.  Do so, now! Celebrate frequently.  Celebrate with food, fun and most of all, prayers and singing of thanksgiving to God for His provision.

The Fellowship of the Mat

 In Luke 5:17-26 we read a story of profound friendship.  Some men were trying to bring their friend, a paralytic, to Jesus for healing.  Due to the crowd, they could not carry him into the house where Jesus was teaching.  They then carried him to the roof, and lowered him into the presence of Jesus.  They knew their friend would be healed if they could bring him to Jesus.

To truly be Team, we must understand that we were made for Fellowship: The Fellowship of Sharing Together; the Fellowship of Belonging; The Fellowship of Serving Together; and the Fellowship of Suffering Together.*  Galatians 6:2 , I Corinthians 12:26 and Romans 12:10 all direct us to share our hearts with each other.  The Fellowship of the Mat** focuses our Team time on sharing our hearts, our troubles, our problems, our successes and our celebrations.  When we dedicate Team time to consistently bringing each other before Jesus in prayer, we are experiencing true fellowship. I have found the implementation of the Fellowship of the Mat to be the most important Team building step.  As the leader, do not hesitate to be on the Mat, open and vulnerable, yourself. Please consider implementing it today, with your Team.

 

*”What on Earth am I here for?” Rick Warren

**”Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them” John Ortberg