Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Baton - Part 3


The task in question requires that we build and work from a personal relationship. As we take time to know others and become known by them, a sense of genuineness and transparency emerges. We take an interest in them and become well acquainted with their personal situation. This may sound elementary but in fact it is often overlooked in the busyness of the every day. Trust is established over time which affords us the opening to discuss issues pertaining to life, work and ministry. Our lives to some degree are mutually opened to one another and our relationship expands to a different level. The way is prepared for more significant interaction.
Because we are all charged with certain duties and given responsibility for the accomplishment of our mission it is expected we will establish and maintain a professional relationship. This relates to the vocational nature of our work as Salvation Army officers and leaders.
While friendship cannot be our primary goal, it should often be a pleasant by-product of the relationship. It is on this level we have the responsibility of providing new opportunities for skill enhancement and personal growth. The coaching and mentoring role can become quite natural. Every appointment now should provide learning experiences which in turn should increase confidence and capacity. Depending on circumstances, key skill growth areas typically include pastoral care, administration, finance, programme development, written and verbal communication, personnel management and leadership.
Most importantly we must not overlook the privilege of developing a spiritual relationship for our mutual benefit and edification. This is what separates us from a secular organisation. We can talk about spiritual matters openly and must take the opportunity to do so. Constant prayer should be a center­piece of how we do business and approach our challenges. Christian character, behaviour and values should be normative in any Salvation Army workplace and we build on these assets as we work to develop others. Mutual respect and a commitment to Christ will influence our relationship. This will mark how we handle conflicts as they arise and how we respond to personal criticism. The godly and gracious exercise of authority is also a very significant factor. Personal example in this area has enormous impact on our effectiveness in preparing and influencing others_ The potential abuse of power is always a threat to the effective development of others.

Barry Swanson

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