News Blog Faith – the ultimate game changer As a Christian organisation, our faith is and has always been at the centre of what we do. One of our core values is faith: FAITH - in the transforming power of Jesus Christ underpins all our activities. This is all good and well, but how does our faith actually play out in the day to day running of our organisation? Here is an excerpt from a previous blog I wrote in April 2018, in which I mentioned our value of faith: “Jesus is at the heart of who we are and what we do. He is ultimately the reason we do what we do. We follow in His example. He is what motivates us to reach out and support those facing difficult times, just as He did. We believe 100% that He can transform any situation, circumstance of life at any given time. Basically, He is our reason. He is our provider, whom we trust for provision of all resources including people and finances. We most importantly trust in Him for transforming people's lives.” You can read the full article HERE, discussing how each of our values plays out. What I would like to do just now is dig a little deeper into how faith plays out in 4 key areas of our organisation: Leadership, Resources, Motivation and Culture, and finally, saving the reason we exist until last, transformed lives. Leadership As the senior leader of the organisation, I have to admit, I am so thankful that the buck doesn’t fully stop with me! Yes I know I am the one who is responsible for the management of the organisation, delivering on our Vision, Mission and Strategy, ensuring compliance etc. and that I am accountable to our board of trustees who govern the charity and are ultimately responsible to the charity regulator and wider public, but this is not what I am meaning. What I am meaning is that I don’t have sleepless nights, have to worry (too much), as we as an organisation know that this is God’s work and everyone involved in the organisation are channels which He ultimately works through to accomplish the purposes for which He intended Street Connect to fulfil. We believe our Vision is God given, and we seek Him for guidance for our strategy and plans and know 100% that He provides all the resources needed for His work. Therefore, I can confirm 100% that this takes a lot of pressure off me personally! Thank you Lord! Resources Provision. The one Bible verse that stands out for me regarding God’s provision is in Philippians 4:19: “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” This goes for finance, human and material resources. All of our fundraising endeavours are soaked in prayer. We trust God will provide all our needs financially to enable us to do the work He has called us to. Our fundraising team work hard. God has not let us down yet, and we have taken real steps of faith on a number of occasions, trusting this is what He is wanting us to do, and He has come through every time. As the widely quoted management saying goes: “People are your greatest asset”, Jim Collins takes it one step further: "People are not your greatest asset; the right people are!” We can fully endorse this quote. As an organisation who has seen our staff team go from 4 in 2016, to 9 in 2018 to now 19 in 2019, we know that the right people in the right positions is key to being able to successfully fulfil the vision God has given us. Not only paid staff, but we would not be able to do what we do without our key volunteers, of which we have around 50 active volunteers who are involved in many different aspects of the work we do from admin, to communications to street outreach, cooking and service user support. We also have about another 50 who get involved in a variety of fundraising activities throughout the year. This is a conservative estimate too! We again trust in God’s provision when it comes to the right people. Motivation & Culture We truly have been blessed with high quality individuals, who are fully committed to the cause and want to see people’s lives being completely transformed. One of the main areas of strength being a faith-based organisation is around motivation. All our staff are Christians and a high number of our volunteers, which means they are already extremely motivated by their faith to actually do what Christians are supposed to do as taught by Jesus Himself. This not only affects the motivation of our staff and volunteers, but greatly affects the culture we work in. As people join the organisation, we regularly get comments around how they feel valued and how it is such a great environment to work in, no hint of a toxic culture, but working in an environment of trust and respect where everyone is encouraged to grow and reach their God given potential. Transformed lives Our bottom line and end goal will always be transformed lives. It will never be the amount of funds, number of projects etc. as these are just means to the end, not the end in themselves. These provide the means in which we can see many more people reached and supported towards our vision: To see those marginalised by life controlling issues fulfilling their potential as valuable members of society. We have been blessed over the years to see many lives completely transformed from a life of chaos and who are now employed in positions where they are giving back, reaching out to and supporting people who are where they once were. No one can argue with the end result. This is what it is all about. We support people who are interested in pursuing their own faith journey and with those who are not. Faith in itself is not a requirement to access any of our services, but what we do know is that those who come to encounter Jesus for themselves, come to a place of complete transformation if they choose to fully commit themselves to Him and live the life He has planned out for them, a plan He has for each and every one of us if we choose to enter into this most exciting faith journey, walking through life with the creator of all things. In essence, faith is at the heart of who we are, and will continue to drive us towards the fulfilment of our God given vision and mission. This blog was written by our Director and Co-founder, Ricky McAddock.