Just the other day someone asked me, "So you spend all day everyday in the office?" I guess it's a good thing that I enjoy what I do, because most people seem to cringe at the thought of it. While I don't spend literally ALL day EVERYday in the office, that is where the majority of my job takes place. Doesn't quite fit the picture of a missionary, does it?
If we had enough staff for me to have things my way, my responsibilities would be solely corresponding with partners (being the "face" of the ministry to those back home), vision casting and strategic planning (for the growth of the ministry), and developing partnerships, connections, and friendships with key influencers here in South Africa. However, a lack of staff requires me to do all of that (at diminished levels than is actually needed), plus:
- Writing curriculum
- Meeting with staff (certain staff/departments report to me)
- Writing copy for newsletters, websites, brochures, flyers, etc.
- Editing ministry materials
- Planning pastors' conferences
- Recruiting/corresponding with potential staff members
- Planning our USA trips
- Teaching classes to interns
- Driving mission teams & spending time with them
- Hosting ministry guests
- Leading staff meetings
- Dealing with staff issues
- & a myriad of little things that seem to creep up and fill up my days!
My least favorite thing of all is dealing with staff issues. We just ended a season where we were doing this regularly, and it was draining me more than I'd ever anticipated. I'm glad it's over, but I also know that my job as a leader over those types of things will never be "over". I look forward to the day when we have a ministry administrator who can handle all the day-to-day running of things (which would include dealing with staff issues).
My favorite thing of all, I think (cause you know how much I love choosing favorites!), is sharing about the ministry and our vision. There is much about that whole process that I dislike (meeting new people, speaking publicly, just getting the ball rolling), but I've discovered that, once we've started, I really love it.
With each new team that arrives, Niel and I lead a "Thrive Talk". We explain the ministry and cast the vision. With some teams, who are extremely interested, this has been an awesome time! Niel and I get passionate and excited, and it's a joy to share our hearts. We would go on for hours if we could. The other night, however, we had a team sleep through our Thrive Talk. One girl even made use of a neck pillow (apparently, she came prepared for her nap). That was a difficult one to get through; we did so, but without nearly the same level of passion and excitement as we usually have. Anyway, on a good day, with a good (interested, listening) audience, I really do enjoy sharing our vision.
The ministry is our "baby", birthed by the Lord through us. How can we not be totally pumped to share it with others?! Given the opportunity, we'll gladly whip out the wallet-photos to brag about what God has done!