The foundation on which we build our future as an organization must withstand the next pandemic and whatever upheavals are yet to come.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many lives and caused organizations to rethink how they function. There is much talk about reengineering, rejigging, agility, resilience, and pivoting.
How do we emerge from this pandemic better able to survive the next challenge? What is that new challenge, when will it come? So little is known about the future. The unpredictability of new coronavirus variants and the threat of more waves of infections make it look like a herculean task to future-proof not-for-profit enterprises.
In the world of competitive business, where profit or the promise of it is invariably an expectation, the capacity for rapid change is critical for survival.1
However, for a Christian charity like EMAS Canada there are two critical factors to consider in the face of adversity or tumultuous circumstances.
First is the degree of our alignment with God’s overarching agenda. Our reason for existing must maintain the highest fidelity to His purpose. So, we need to frequently and regularly recalibrate of our organizational compass with His purpose. We do this by corporate and individual commitment to His plan, seeking and finding it in humility and responding by obedience.
God is the architect and builder2 we must understand and follow His blueprint. The good news is that we have that blueprint. Sadly, it is possible to end up in a missional cul-de-sac when success in one location and time-tested methods lead to loss of focus on God’s plan for the world and eternity. We are prone to see most clearly only where we have succeeded and within our own lifespan, such myopia limits our scope.
Second is our commitment to a framework strong enough to guarantee structural integrity for what we build. Substructure matters. Foundations are often out of sight, but the superstructure they hold will be tested in full view of the public, and this may take centuries.
“It is the innermost of the innermost that reveals the power of the life”3. Is a statement by Oswald Chambers about the importance of the private life of the Christian worker. It is also true of Christian organizations.
Behind the public face of EMAS Canada: the projects, the traveling teams and benevolence, there must be a leadership who believe that obeying Jesus Christ is the ultimate assurance of organizational stability and effective operational strategy4. The challenge is to be in unity in understanding of what that obedience means. The innermost of the innermost of this organization is the private uncompromising pursuit of every leader to attain the approval of Jesus Christ and to achieve it by obedience. This is foundational.
We want a better future post-pandemic. It seems every time a tsunami, hurricane, or other disaster natural or manmade disrupts our way of life and economies, we resolve to bounce back and rebuild our lives with structures of greater resilience.
However, if our foundation guarantees structural integrity before we come up with strategy, what we build will be standing when all else has fallen or is crumbled around us.
This blog was inspired by the request from Krista Waring for a message of encouragement to our leaders as they prepare for the next strategic plan. Krista Waring leads the Hand in Hand with Haiti team and serves as the Chair of EMAS’ Audit Review Committee.
You can learn more about Hand in Hand with Haiti here.
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1. How Good Is Your Company at Change by D. Michels & K. Murphy Harvard Business Review page 62 Jul-Aug 2021
2. Hebrews 11:10, Hebrews 3: 1-6; Ephesians 2:19-21; 1Corinthians 3:10-17
3. My Utmost for His Highest Oct 19 reading, Oswald Chambers Classical Edition
4. Matthew 7:24-27; Mark 4:1-20
All Scripture references are taken from the New International Version (NIV)
Feature image: Photo by Scott Blake on Unsplash