Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Growing Pains

Growth is good. Right? Of course it is! But just because it’s good, that doesn’t mean it’s painless. Anyone who has ever experienced the angst of adolescence can attest to that! Sowers4Pastors is experiencing its own kind of growing pains. That’s good. It can also be a little angsty! (Hey! What do you know? “Angsty” is actually a word. I was expecting the red squiggle of disapproval I so often receive under words I write!)

Sowers4Pastors is at a stage in its ministry where things are happening at a fast and furious pace. They are what they have always referred to as “kitchen table missionaries”. They have no sleek headquarters filled with minions. They don’t have all of the personnel and resources a larger organization would have. They just don’t put money into that kind of thing. (Plus, good minions are so hard to find!) There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of organizations. As Sowers4Pastors is in the process of growing from small to bigger, everyone is stretched to keep up with the ministry roles.

Here’s a real life example of how those growing pains have manifested:

One of Sowers4Pastors’ child sponsors was interested in the matching funds program for church construction. He generously donated $500 knowing that amount would be doubled to allow a congregation to have a roof on their church. Awesome!

Trish shared that information with Russell and he, in turn, started construction on the new roof. Super awesome! Trish was traveling. Russell was swamped. Kelsea had family visiting, and was busy showing them the ministry.

After waiting patiently, the sponsor finally said something like, “Um, could I please see some pictures of the superduper, awesome new church I helped fund?”

Oops! Trish contacted Russell. Russell contacted Kelsea, who had, in fact, already taken pictures of the new church construction with its shiny, new roof. Kelsea located the pictures in a file with pictures from her family’s visit to Honduras. The sponsor was very gracious about the delay.

As the ministry grows, more things are required and more people are involved. Every process they need takes a little longer because they are still setting up a new system. For example: Trish is having to create a receipt for people who donate non-monetary gifts. Once a template is created, it will be a breeze. Right now, it's a big item on her to-do list.

Trish acknowledged it would be lovely if there were some sort of glorious flowchart, which would almost miraculously inform each individual sponsor or donor of everything that person needs or should know. The reality is, it would take an incredibly organized, and highly skilled minion to come up with such a system. And Sowers4Pastors remains a minion-free, kitchen table ministry. Oh, sure, they’re putting an extra leaf into the kitchen table to help accommodate the growth, but there are still limitations. Sowers4Pastors appreciates everyone’s patience, as they move forward in exciting ways!

 - posted by Christi

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