What motivates our staff and keeps us going?
It’s the end of a busy and productive year: a time of board meetings, retreats, evaluations, and eventually a Christmas party. A few days ago, at our staff retreat, some of our staff responded to a simple question: What encourages you most about the ministry of Alongsiders? Here are some of their replies.
A survey like this doesn't tell the whole story of what encourages and motivates us, but consider a quick summary of the responses:
We are encouraged by Alongsider mentors loving, serving, and valuing poor and vulnerable children. It's effective! What they are doing is changing the lives of the children, and it's also changing families, churches, and eventually society!
This is not something foreigners or rich and powerful people are doing for the poor; it is poor people serving one-another and giving from what they have, starting with their own neighbors.
Participating in Alongsiders changes the way people act and think. It's a transforming educational experience, and it's based on simple and sustainable practices: loving and serving neighbors and making disciples (of the mentors!) within local communities.
Even if Alongsiders were to disappear, there are people who have caught the vision who would continue the work, because it is giving people hope.
So...we're encouraged. Are you?