Missionaries are dreamers, boundary-pushers, risk-takers, big-picture people. Perhaps that’s true when it comes to our faith and aspirations (which cause us to accomplish great and seemingly impossible tasks!), but when we are asked to attach strategic plans, timelines and budgets to those dreams, a certain feeling starts to come over us and our plans become smaller and safer. Every year, each team with CCC creates a one-year strategic plan, with a budget and calendar. This year, the board of directors requested that each team submit a one year operational plan and a FIVE year strategic plan, each with their own budget!
Most teams gathered together physically at our national strategic planning event while others (like Nicholas’ team – the Digital Strategy Team) did theirs prior to the event. This was one of the highlights of my year work-wise because for 3 days and two nights, Nicholas was able to spend daddy-time with the boys on the site while I spent some quality work time with the national Student-led Movement team (my team!). I was in my element!
Our first order of business was to actually find out how everyone is doing. This was a very special time because we don’t often get the opportunity to connect as a national team face to face. It warmed my heart to hear how our missionaries and students in Cape Town are doing and to even see two of our missionary friends as newly weds (They’re the couple on the far left of the picture below).
I was given the task of leading the team through our SWOT time (a tool to help assess our current reality by considering our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). Taking some inspiration from the Digital Strategy team, I led our team through a time of dreaming about the future. Even though crazy, adventurous dreams lie in the heart of many a missionary, I feel we don’t take adequate time to discuss those dreams, stretch them, and even put them to paper. This was the time to do it, and we did! My question to the team was: “If funding and manpower were never an issue, what dreams would you dream for our ministry?” There were a few moments of silence, but then the ideas slowly trickled out. At the end, it felt like something had lifted off our chests and we were ready to build these plans. By the end of those three days, we had put together both a one year and a 5 year strategic plan! A few days later, I worked together with our national SLM team leaders to create a budget to see how these dreams will become a reality. I must tell you, it was exhausting but worth it.
Here are a few things I had learned from this time together:
a) Sometimes it helps to assess the current reality of your staff before you assess the current reality of your organisation
b) Budgets, timelines and calendars are not weights to your dreams, they’re wings. When the right wind comes it will lift them and carry them!
c) Vincent and Kiran love chasing chickens 🙂 It also was sweet to see them busy with a few toys while Nic and I sat in on a few sessions in the main hall.
Nicholas was also able to contribute to the national planning event by giving a presentation on the national plans of the Digital Strategy team. He did an excellent job and I’m encouraged by his team and the way they work.
Please pray for Nicholas and I as we take turns to give each other opportunities for ministry. We are figuring out how to care for Vincent at home with occupational and speech therapy in order to prepare him for school next year.
Thank you for your love and prayers!