Can I say it’s been an amazing journey and honour to serve as National Director these past 12 and a half years! Thank you so much to our many donors, family and friends for your rock-solid support and encouragement.
We’re in the most exciting period for SCA in my 12 years. Our vision is flying, our field workers, coordinators and CBT’s are thriving. Steve Stubbings and his team are seeing scores of chaplains trained and appointed each month and the ClubCare program is gaining tremendous traction throughout Aussie sport.
We have many amazing volunteers, interns and groups helping grow the vision. From people like former Ansvar CEO John Peberdy chairing the Integrity Committee, to our Honorary Research Follow Stephen Reid overseeing research into the impact and effectiveness of chaplaincy in Australian sport. To the Life Saving Chaplaincy Australia council working with Russ Harmon to have placed over 60 chaplains in life saving clubs.
The network is humming and continues to build!
The most recent encouragement has been the increased engagement of local sports networks and faith communities engaging with SCA. Sydney Anglican’s are running a thriving CBT. Hillsong Church is training and releasing sports chaplains. Christian Community Churches in Victoria and Tasmania are empowering their churches to appoint chaplains throughout their network. Whilst it’s not about any of these denominations it is about the vision and mission of SCA to see the grace and mercy of Jesus made available to our local sports communities through the presence of a chaplain.
So after 20 years serving in SLM/SCA and 12+ as National Director next week (December 31) I’m hanging up the boots. Not because i have to, or forced to, rather, because i have a deep sense that I’ve done what God set before me. I’ve served him faithfully in the role he placed before me.
And… Its been a huge thrill!
So, thank you all for joining me on it!
Some learnings along the way…
I thought I would reflect on some key learning’s along the way that may encourage you, or even challenge you. Either way each of us and SCA have a great future.
- VISION – let the vision lead our organisation, dominate our conversations, direct our purpose, impose itself when others seek to distract us. Let the vision engage hearts – always making sure to “keep the main thing, the main thing!” from governance down. SCA’s vision is its greatest asset – let it lead.
- PURPOSE – while the vision is the hope in our hearts that draw us ever forward, its essential to clarify and continually reinforce our purpose or mission in life. In SCA it has always been ITAG. ITAG. ITAG. Identify, Train, Appoint, Guide. Otherwise we will continually give in to mission creep = the ‘good’ over the ‘best’. Ask, “What’s ‘best’ for the vision?”
- LISTEN. LISTEN. LISTEN. – great leaders do a lot of listening. Ask lots of questions. Give time (and space) for listening, both formally and informally.
- COMMUNICATE. COMMUNICATE. COMMUNICATE. great leaders also always communicate. In some things I communicated exceptionally well. In other areas not so well. Choosing your moments to communicate is a learned art-form for leaders.
- PERFORMANCE (in the context of shared mission) – its important to let people know you value performance from them regardless of whether they are paid staff or volunteer staff. I’ve come to learn that starting with ‘performance’ which then leads to ‘care’ is better than caring for people then letting them know you need performance. The reason we get involved together is for the greater outcome and purpose which requires performance.
- IDENTITY – Discovering your ‘WHY’ has been a big topic lately. This is because people ‘buy-into’ your WHY way before they buy-into your ‘WHAT’. E.g., WHY you do something over WHAT you’re doing. This video explains it clearly (https://youtu.be/LZe5y2D60YU). The question i would encourage us to ask ourselves first is ‘WHO’ defines our WHY? Can I encourage you to find your identity in ‘who you belong to’ above what you ‘do/achieve’ (Luke 10:20).
- FRIENDSHIPS – you don’t loose good friends.
- FAITH – It takes FAITH to achieve anything significant in life. You can’t fake faith. You can try… but God will test your faith to see if it’s fair-dinkum. Why? Because this is actually what pleases him – not how good you are. Am I genuinely expressing my faith? Or, just talking about it?
- THANKFULNESS – learning to enjoy and have fun in life and ministry is often preceded by living ‘thankfulness’ – Learning to give thanks for the tough times and enjoy crazy keeps you stay above the clouds. Never stop finding ways to give thanks.
So, thank you for your wonderful support, friendship and encouragement over the years.
May Gods amazing grace and surpassing mercy energise your life to make a huge difference.
Love ya lots,