Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Everybody wants to be a hero

Everybody wants to be a hero and our country's current economic challenges are providing numerous opportunities for those heroes to emerge. The person who redesigns his/her organization in a way that allows it to continue to function effectively in this new environment will most certainly to be a hero to some. As the manager of a Christian bookstore, I want to be a hero to our employees and to the church that owns our bookstore. I want to be the one that leads us to the "promised land" of success and prosperity despite the challenges that we face. Over the last two years, I've been privileged to lead a staff of very capable people (most of whom were part of the staff before I arrived) to significant improvements in our ministry. I'm proud of what they've accomplished and I hope that they're satisfied with the role that I've played in that, too. We've had some disappointments but our customers tell us (via our Customer Satisfaction Survey) that we've improved significantly (8%-16%) in every area that we measured.

It's clear, however, that the impact of the economic downturn is going to force us to make some significant changes in '09. Those changes will neither be easy nor painless but they will be necessary. What will be worse: to have a leaner, more efficient and economically viable Crossroads ministry or to ride our current model to it's unavoidable demise? Sometimes our choices are tough ones and this is one of those times. Truth be told, I'm not feeling like much of a hero these days. I told the senior staff of our church this week that we should never question our call to have launched this ministry in '01. I'm convinced that God called Christ United Methodist Church to embark on this ministry and that we will one day meet people in heaven who are there as a direct result of this ministry. What our call may look like in '09 will be different than it did in '01 but that only means that our call has evolved. Pray for us to study the issues, think clearly and make wise decisions. You'll be my hero if you do.

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