Joy in doing it with others
October 25, 2006
I'm in the middle of arguably the greatest challenge of my life. Never having had interests in buildings, here I am responsible for one of the largest fundraising projects—I'm told—within a Roman Catholic or Protestant community, in Canadian history.
As CEO, I know that the responsibility of bringing together the elements to make it happen is mine. The Board of Governors carefully vetted the project and decided to proceed. But now it is up to staff to make it happen.
For forty plus years, I've been engaged in leading Christian ministries. I've learned how to work with others, but today as I look back I confess that the raising of funds was most often done by a very few, and it was often left up to me to gather.
This time it is different. The magnitude of this project has forced me to not be so self-assured. It woke me up to the real need to trust and work with others.
It isn't that teamwork is foreign to me: indeed that has been my style and pattern in ministry. And it has been my source of joy. But there is something different this time around. Maybe because I'm older, or could it be that I've come to see that I don't know enough to make this work.
What has happened is that within our project team, I have seen the enormous uplift in working together. Hope accrues. Wisdom accumulates. Faith projects into the future. Insights push away hubris. Enthusiasm is catching. Reliance on the Lord assures us all. As a team, we share disappointments and celebrate victories. I've learned more about this side of leadership in the past twelve months than in my whole life. I thought I knew what it meant to work together. This team teaches me every day, lessons I wish I had learned earlier.
Dear Lord, Creator of community, world's First manager and coach, how fatigued we get when we forget we fly best when together. The hard lessons of 'going south alone' are that we might not make it, and if we do, it takes all winter just to get up strength to go back north in the spring. So, Lord, teach me the wisdom and joy of flying—together. Amen.
As each Goose flaps it wings, it creates an 'up lift' for the bird following. By flying in a V formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.