Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Beyond Maintaining

The other day a friend asked me, "So when you travel out of the country, do you shut down the sewing center and the shop?"

I responded, "I work with a very competent staff. They will handle everything beautifully while I am gone."

Surely they will face some challenges, but they will work through them, and be better off because of them.

I know they can maintain our current training program and our shop while I'm away, but I've challenged them to go "beyond maintaining." At our staff meeting we came up with more than a dozen challenging things they can do in my absence. They really caught the vision and got excited about everything they can do if they really put their minds to it.

Here are a few of the things we came up with:
*Get our downtown shop up and running
*Make progress on our new building for the Self-Sustainability Program (SSP)
*Start our dry-cleaning business
*Start our wedding dress rental business
*Do the video for our new album and plan for its release in Nigeria
*Figure out a way to get constant electricity for our sewing center
*Get all of 12 SSP staff members to be able to type and be computer literate

Over the years I have realized that there's no virtue in saying: "If I want it done right, then I guess I'll have to do it myself." As a missionary, I have no business saying that. My job is not "to get the job done" but rather to come alongside others, build them up, seek out their own ideas, and work together with them to get the job done. This latter approach takes a lot longer, but it is SO rewarding in the end when people think for themselves and take pride in figuring out a challenging situation.

1 comment:

Josh said...

That's the teacher in you.