In a staff development session some months ago one of the Managing Directors spent some time lecturing the staff concerning core values. It sparked a few thoughts in me, actually, it also resolved some of the underlying reasons I was getting rather edgy with work in that it helped me recognise that my core values were being pressured by the values of my employer.
Now, I realise that I am bound to start wading out into some deep and choppy water by pushing this boat out particularly as I know a lot of my readers are either unfamiliar with the work life in this kind of (Christian) environment in general or are involved with different, expressions of Christian faith. So, forgive me if I appear to be treading carefully… It’s because I am!
Here’s the crux of the matter…
I have set myself some fairly rigid boundaries of late and one of these is only working the hours I get paid for.
My reasons for taking the hard line have a lot to do with spending no small number of years without boundaries around my private life at all and suffering some fairly hefty consequences. Sadly, a lot of these boundaries were trampled on in relation to my work.
Yep, in relation to my work for a Christian organisation…
Taking this stance has come into conflict with this organisation’s core values of being a servant, of excellence and of teamsmanship.
So I find myself having a s**t of a day today all because of one email outlining my role in the Next Big Thing. A Big Thing put on for a particular section of our fellowship which Does Not include me in any sense and in a role that requires my attendance from 5pm – 9pm Friday and All Day Saturday.
Now, I know that I won’t have to work on Monday by way of a day in lieu and I know that there are other members of the crew who are happy to do whatever is required to be of assistance, (which brings me into conflict not only with the team leaders but other members of the team).
And yet… it makes me wonder where Jesus stands on issues such as these while He is watching us do the Big Things. It makes me wonder whether “Losing your life for me” means a commitment to be available all hours in the name of putting on a Great Event (among the other sacrifices that are expected in working for ‘the Lord’).
Now, don’t get me wrong… I believe in the message of the Gospel. I believe in it enough to want to take it to my unchurched friends. I believe in it enough to be working for an organisation whose primary goal is preaching that message. But on days like today I seriously have to question whether ‘losing one’s life for gospel to save it’ means that we should be spending a weekend making sure the fee paying delegates are having a good time or whether we should instead be extending a hand to our neighbours in more practical, meaningful ways.