Being a Native Texan, we have a saying that if you don't like the weather, just wait 5 minutes and it will change. Operating a ministry is very much the same. People in need exist in a variety of places and they also don't have a lot of control of their situation. A ministry team has to be flexible and prepared for anything to happen. When we say anything…..we mean anything!
No one is perfect and a ministry team is a great example of good people trying to do the right thing, but good intentions are just that…. intentions. We are all motivated through our faith to use the gifts that God has provided to serve the less fortunate. In order to optimize these gifts, a ministry has to have a plan and processes in place to ensure that you are prepared for anything that can happen. Does this mean you will not make mistakes? Hardly! In fact, we push our ministry team hard and encourage them to make mistakes, just be sure to learn from them and not let them happen again. Mistakes are made because people are pushing hard to improve, if we learn during this process, a mistake can actually make the team better.
Operating in multiple countries, cities, villages, etc. around the world is a challenge in itself. Throw in multiple faiths, political beliefs, cultures, etc. and no place is the same as the next. Some will shy away from this environment, but if we were to do the same, people would not be reached and the poor would be left without anyone to care for them. We think it is worth the challenge and due to this we are also willing to take the risks necessary and make a mistake here or there in order to reach those that need our help. One of our Medical Directors said the number one skill anyone needs to serve on our team is not medical skill or expertise…its flexibility. Some shy away from challenges, but in ministry you must take on these challenges head on in order to succeed.
Historically, many ministries have operated on the sheer will or dynamic personality of individuals. The world we live in today does not make this a sustainable model for success into the future. Times are tough, world economies are struggling, disease continues to be a problem for the poor, and ministries must use sound business principles and strategies to be prepared for all that the world throws our way. If you are a member of a ministry or thinking of supporting/joining the efforts of one, be prepared to work hard and be flexible. Faith, flexibility, and sound processes are the order of the day and its a pleasure to watch God do His work using you as His hands and feet! There is no greater gift to your fellow man than to use the gifts God has provided to do His work.