This is an article from the January-March 1985 issue: Student Missions Urbana ‘84

The Need for Managers

The Need for Managers

When I first came to the U.S. Center campus in the summer of 1982 for the Perspectives course. I wondered how the Center functioned. It didn't seem to operate in the fashion of most organizations!

Filled with young people fresh out of school and a few retired missionaries, the Center had virtually no experienced managers to guide the day to day activities of its staff.

My wife and 1 believed God was calling us out of our middle class, suburban comfort zone to become engaged in full time missionary service.

We were in communication with five different agencies and were trying to determine God's will. We had prayed that the Lord would direct us to the ministry where our gifts would be used most strategically for the spread of His Kingdom.

As the Lord opened our eyes to see what He was accomplishing through this organization, despite its lack of experienced managers, we became convinced of the Center's strategic role.

Having 20 years' experience in personnel administration, it seemed that if we were serious about our prayer for guidance, we had to accept the challenge the Center afforded.

Every job I have ever held has had its challenges and frustrations. I antici pared that the Center would prove more challenging and frustrating than any previous experience.

It has!

When my wife and I arrived, plans were for roe to be the Personnel Director. But within a few short weeks, I was appointed Operations Manager as well. The challenge began in earnest.

It has been my role to manage the day to day operations of about one hundred people. I have a handful of middle managers, mostly in their twenties, and most with little prior work experience. That's a challenge!

Another challenge comes from the voluntary nature of the Center. There are different ways of motivating workers. Economic rewards and penalties so common in business just don't apply here.Further, this is not a bureaucratic organization. Some decisions can be implemented quickly; others require input from several advisory committees. But because of the nature of our purpose and the developmental stage we are in, departmental goals must sometimes be laid aside white we all engage in a central project.

Staff are sometimes re assigned to meet organizational goals, and managers need to be able to adjust.

Perhaps you or someone you know is an experienced, mature manager and may be open to the challenge of putting that experience to work for the Lord at the US. Center for World Mission.

Within the last year, some staff have come to us with three to five years of business experience. They are bringing improvement, but they need help; they need direction.

A few months ago, a retired manager accepted the task of managing one of our divisions. We are beginning to see the fruit of his efforts. But we need more help.

We need more managers who are willing to leave the comfort of career and middle class income to take on the challenge of grooming a new generation for effective missionary service.

Some of our staff have clear administrative potential. They need guidance if they are to develop effective supervisory and management skills.

Many of our staff are headed for overseas, cross cultural service. If they are to be adequately prepared for cooperative efforts on the field, they need to develop habits of teamwork here at home.

Me you a manager? Write me for more information. Let as help the next generation become the men and women God intends for diem to he in His service.


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