Sunday, May 25, 2008

A non-entry

Normally I don't end up writing because I don't have time. I generally think through what I should write and write the blog entry in my mind before starting on the computer. I have been going over and over in my mind what to write. Never coming to a conclusion. I still haven't but my wife reminded me that people wanted to know...

Life at the office has been the kind of normal rough and tumble of things... In turning the blog entry over in my mind I was thinking about what I do . About 15-20% of my time is financial administration, another 15-20% is general administration, 30-40% is technical, 20-30% is promotion/publicity/fundraising, 20-30% is project administration, and 20-30% is creative project work.

If you add up the worst case scenario you get 170% and best case 120%... the trouble is I never have a best case week! So what do I drop? The administration/fundraising and the technical are necessary to enable the creative to take place and projects to take place. If I dropped the projects my workload would become sensible [80% best case, 110% worst case] and I would go nuts within a few weeks.

Oh... and we lose Paula our administrator in a years time. She will be returning to the UK with her family. We very much need to replace her. Tomorrow she will be spending some hours with immigration department hopefully sorting out a question about a visa for one of the people coming over to help us. If she wasn't doing it, I would have to. She sorts out all supplies for the office, does some of the accounting, office cleaner, resources etc etc... before she joined us these were either adding to my list or not getting done.

We have had a programmer over for a few weeks and he has been working on our most significant web site. The new developments are going well. I spend on average between half an hour and an hour per day working on different aspects of this site with the programmer, and have over the past couple of weeks spent over an hour per day communicating with the content team on this site.

We want to improve the interaction with the visitors to the site - many of them have expressed an interest in knowing more about Jesus, we now have to enable that to happen. Its not just as simple as 'OK, here's what its about, make your mind up...' That would be the western propositional approach. Within the Middle East it is a relational approach that is needed. Having said that, the post-modern generation are more relational than propositional. Facebook is an example of this social networking. It allows individuals and groups of people to interact.

I'm reading a book at the moment by Thomas Freidman entitled The World is Flat. In one chapter he talks about visiting Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. He asked what the most frequent searches were. No surprise that sex hit top of the list, but the second was God and third jobs. Our aim is to create a social network of people searching for God and let them interact with followers of Jesus so they can come to know the God who first went searching for them. The fact that we've had over 1400 people asking for Bibles shows the thirst.

There are times recently when I feel overwhelmed. There is too much to do, and too little time. I end up chasing things that don't bring fulfillment but are necessary. I sit and wonder why we lack so many human resources. Jesus said 'Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers...' We do that alright!

At our Friday evening group one of the members was talking about a leadership seminar she had gone to recently. She felt that they had mistakenly confused management with leadership. When she said that, it was like a light going on in my head. That's the problem we face. Peter and I are leaders but not managers. We need a manager. The problem is that managers want to control and then lead... this is the dilemma the church has got into when it confuses management and leadership. I have observed all over the place this happening. The Lord inspires a leader or leaders. They need managers to help. The managers eventually take over the leaders and everything dries up, running like a well oiled machine but going nowhere.

So I come back to not writing because every time I start to think then the thinking takes me in a different direction. I miss a clear thought that I want to put down what we are doing at the moment. Tomorrow I will start another week... will it be a 170% week or a quiet 120% week I wonder.