It’s been several months coming, but last week I made it official. I’m beginning the next leg of my vocational journey. My final day at Global Aid Network (GAIN) will be June 16, 2017.
I first joined GAIN in 2014, primarily for the purpose of establishing a new marketing and communications department. The new president, Al Goff, had set a new direction for the ministry and understood the importance of messaging, which requires a certain professional discipline to be successful. I had hoped to complete the task in five years and, in the meantime, find a bona fide marketing professional to take the reins permanently. Alas, the timing of blessings is rarely in our control. GAIN found a very capable leader in Michelle Oney, formerly with the Josh McDowell Ministry, and the department now runs smoothly with her guidance.
I leave with few regrets. Much of what I was building was still in the chaotic throes of development and I don’t like leaving things undone, but that does not appear to have caused many problems. Mostly I leave with a sense of satisfaction, and much of that because of the team God assembled during my tenure.
Kim Davis was the zig to my zag, often counterbalancing my weaknesses with her steadfast “git-er-dun” determination. Ever mindful of the heart, she never let tasks become more important than the people doing them. She takes the job seriously yet always finds ways to make work fun.
Lara Strain brings to the organization an unassuming intelligence and wide-ranging skillset that GAIN is just beginning to discover. The challenge will be to find mentors she won’t quickly outgrow and challenges that bring out her amazing potential.
Joshua (Jam) Robinson brings to video production an innate sense of timing, style, and voice that cannot be taught, only discovered. Meeting Jam was like finding a magic genie. I learned quickly to trust his instincts, keep direction high-level, and stay out of his way.
Jason Cress holds great promise for the future of GAIN and Cru; he’s clearly destined for a great challenge. His natural curiosity, his ability to learn, his focused work ethic, and his easy-going way with peers will make him a strong leader as seasoning works its magic in him.
MaryBeth Berry knows far more than she lets on. Her affable, self-effacing demeanor masks many years of experience. I soon discovered that her gentle suggestions carry weight; ignore them, and you have only yourself to blame for the egg on your face.
Kerry Olson is among those people who are too easily overlooked because they don’t wear their competencies like merit badges. She’s amazingly astute. And when she completes a task, there’s no fanfare; it simply gets done.
Leaving Global Aid Network is bitter-sweet, but it’s the right path forward for me. Over the Christmas holidays, I took time to do some crucial self-assessment, to determine who God made me and what kind of work will keep me excited for the next forty years. While marketing and communications had been my role the past five or six years, I always understood it to be a season, a valuable part of my preparation for something yet-future. Now, I take a conscious step toward that destiny.
As I set course for that future—that frontier we must all explore—I do so with peace-filled confidence, knowing that God has already ordained my days (Psalm 139:16). I pray He now orders my steps (Psalm 119:133).