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Volunteers, the life givers January 22, 2016

Posted by thehutch in ponderings.
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Having worked in the third sector for a number of years, it has intrigued me as to how different organisations and people engage with volunteers. Standards vary, practices are diverse and the poor management of these crucial people often leads to poor retention rates. A few thoughts;

1) Treat them like precious gold – they are usually the most motivated and  believe in what you are doing.

2) Treat them as you would a salaried staff member – why drop standards of care, support and management? These folk are precious.

3) Offer good support – they believe in you, do you believe in them?

4) They enhance your work – yet, many organisations see them as an imposition. 

5) they will be your greatest ambassadors – they have chosen to work with you, to support you and to enhance your work. Treat them well and they will also tell the world how great you are.

Why? January 18, 2016

Posted by thehutch in personal, ponderings, Uncategorized.
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Have you ever wondered why people do the things they do? Tell me, why do some people;

  1. phone me to ask if I have read their email? – just do one or the other, not both, you are duplicating workload.
  2. leave a phone message to ask me to call back when they could just leave a better message? – this is just lazy and adding unnecessarily to workload
  3. read their presentation directly from notes and give you the handout? – just give me the handout. If you do a presentation then add life to the written page.
  4. pay for a gym membership to do step training, yet do not walk up escalators? – one is free, the other extortionate
  5. attend a concert, make a poor recording on their phone and then buy a professional recording to watch? – ignore the poor recording and engage in the concert

There are many, many more but these were the first few that came to mind. What would you add to the list?

Praying for the Gospel Workers of London January 12, 2016

Posted by thehutch in mission.
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I am so fortunate to work for a Christian organisation (London City Mission) that has a high emphasis on Gospel proclamation. We are engaged in good works but we place a higher priority on sharing the message of salvation in Christ and the need for repentance, in order that we can live an abundant life that brings glory to God. It is an exciting place to work because we work in partnership across the Church in London and serve in some communities that do not necessarily have easy opportunity to hear the gospel in an accessible way. As a result, our team are innovators who look at every opportunity to present the gospel message, clearly, succinctly and in a host of different ways, and respond with patient perseverance amongst the variety of people within their communities. They are an inspiration and bring transformation to the places where they work, there are not many places where you could say the same about your colleagues!

Last week, we began the year with a week of prayer, something which is an annual event in the life of London City Mission, that enabled us to focus on our faith in God, our need for God and the desire to be rooted in Christ in all that we do. We recognise the need for God’s strengthening and enabling in our ministry and so prayer is a vital part of daily routine. Will you pray with us? Will you pray for us? London needs Jesus and we value the support of all those who can stand with us in this vital ministry to London. Our team produce a daily prayer diary (download here) which can help fuel your prayers, please feel free to partner with us – if you already do, thank you. Your prayers are making a difference.

Value the dissenting voices November 19, 2015

Posted by thehutch in leadership.
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So often, Christian leaders are looking for the team to have total agreement. Whilst we need unity in decision making, we must place greater value in those that challenge the status quo. Dissenting voices may not be right but they help to sharpen us. There are times they are right and we need to change. Whichever, we need to take them seriously as an ally and not as a threat. 

Do not despise the dissenting voice, heed the words, reflect and then decide. You will be stronger for it. 

Presentation Dilemma October 21, 2015

Posted by thehutch in Ponderings.
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One of the challenges of any presentation is the use of visual aids, do we use them or not. Today, powerpoint is in constant use and there is rarely an indoor presentation that does not have some form of electronic media to accompany it. However, not everyone is won over by powerpoint and its virtues, usually because they have witnessed more poor presenations than positive ones.

There is one school of thought that says that visuals distract from the message and that the only visual required is that of the message bearer…..you are the visual identity. Others scream for slide decks of quotes, images and text that support the speech bearer. Which route is best? Oratory skill is sadly lacking today and the need for visual is usually because the skill of oratory has been neglected or under developed…truth is, go with whatever helps the message stick with your listeners.  What message do you seek to convey? Does the visual aid support or detract from this message? Answering these questions will help you determine the best approach.

Quotes  October 19, 2015

Posted by thehutch in quotes.
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I hate the way people use PowerPoint instead of thinking” Steve Jobs
We are all on the same team. Family doesn’t shoot family.” @kevezell.
There may be times when we’re powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest”  Elie Wiesel
We are drowning in information, but starved for knowledge”  John Naisbilt
Preach from your scars, not your wounds…”   Nadia Bolz-Weber

Values and Culture October 18, 2015

Posted by thehutch in leadership.
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Found this little nugget in my notebook but have lost the reference to who wrote it…..big apologies…..but felt it was still worth sharing.

“My advice to leaders: Don’t cling to every aspect of the way your business works as you scale up. Stick to your core values, but recognize that you need to lead (or at least be ok with) the evolution of your culture, just as you would lead (or be ok with) the evolution of your product. But be sure you’re sticking to your values, and not compromising them just because the organization scales and work patterns need to change.  A leader’s job is to embody the values.  That impacts/produces/guides culture.  But only the foolhardy leaders think they can control culture.”

Found the writer…..it was Matt Blumberg….thank you Matt

Blue Sky Thinking or Grey Sky Management August 24, 2015

Posted by thehutch in leadership.
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We have all been in meetings when we have been encouraged to think ‘outside the box’, ‘use a blank sheet of paper’ and ‘blue sky dream’. They are nothing new. However, the success of these meetings is dependent upon the attendees, the preparation and the ability to listen. Blue sky thinking quickly deteriorates into a rainy day when the managers begin to see the problems too soon and the potential for new things is swamped by the clouds of past failings.  Setting up these meetings well is so important.

Here are a few steps that may help;

  1. Determine who will attend – these meetings need more creatives than managers. You want ideas to flow without restraint, in the initial stages, and therefore require the big thinkers.
  2. Guard the ‘rules of the meeting’ – the chair of the meeting needs to ensure that all voices are heard. However, this is not enough, the chair of the meeting must also ensure that clouds are not allowed to form – stay strong in this.
  3. Every new idea matters – there is nothing in blue sky thinking that should be out of bounds, the limitations come in the next stages of discussion.
  4. Positive energy – the meeting should be positive thinking, leave the negative views at the door.
  5. Reward the thinkers – rewards take all shapes and forms but we need to credit those who come up with new ideas, they are the lifeblood of any organisation and prevent stagnation. If we value these people, they will continue to contribute to the benefit of everyone. They are often taking a big personal risk in sharing their ideas.
  6. Listen well – attendees must listen to absorb what is said. Then ideas can flourish – we often listen to argue with what is said, this is not listening, it is combat!

There are many more that could be added to the list, these are just for starters…..keep dreaming!

Prayer in Abundance July 6, 2015

Posted by thehutch in church.
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Rev. Dr. Choi led a team of prayer warriors in the UK. Koreans know how to pray!

Elisabeth Elliot Quotes June 15, 2015

Posted by thehutch in quotes.
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Elisabeth Elliot died today. It was her story, and that of Jim, who helped shape the story of my teenage Christian years. Here are some of her greatest quotes: 

“Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.”

“Leave it all in the Hands that were wounded for you.”

“Faith is not an instinct. It certainly is not a feeling—feelings don’t help much when you’re in the lions’ den or hanging on a wooden Cross. Faith is not inferred from the happy way things work. It is an act of will, a choice, based on the unbreakable Word of God who cannot lie, and who showed us what love and obedience and sacrifice mean, in the person of Jesus Christ.”

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