When expressing opinions, I’ve been accused of being an emotional cripple who cares nothing for the feelings of others. I try to formulate opinions as objectively as I can, expressing them diplomatically and without personal rancor; I like to think my faithfulness to honesty trumps everything else. A logical corollary to the charge of hard-heartedness is that I’m disloyal; if I don’t sign on to the right projects with the right fervor I must be one of those folks who support people right up until they disagree with me.
We’re nearly two years into the new IMB, led by President Blank Check.* He pulled together a solid leadership team and began a long-needed re-visioning project for the SBC’s mission agency. It’s been a bit of a nervous time; many IMBers experience a bad case of chronic insecurity. Like many, I’ve staunchly supported our leadership even as I’ve scratched my head over certain approaches or statements. I call it positive skepticism.
*I like Platt, really. Like most zealous people, his fervor is easy to poke fun at, just a little.
The balanced budget issue tottered through first. We voluntarily faced the VRI. Richmond’s communication staff tobogganed out the door between winter storms. The Hand Raising Opportunity currently waves for attention. As we’ve built this new plane in-flight I’ve said, “Give it time. The mistakes will smooth themselves out. We’ll all be alright, both the organization and our family.”
When They came for my department, I filled out the surveys. I expressed my opinions and offered words of advice. Some of my ideas amazingly made the final cut and will be included in the new structure.
Something that did not make the cut is my job.
So now I’m left with the question, “Still support this process? Are you still positive in your doubts, or has there been a turn towards the negative side of the ledger? Are you, Ethan, still loyal?
Yeah, I think I am.
As others have explained, this elimination of a position is not about job performance. If it were about performance then the person doing the job would be replaced; that is not the case here. Instead, we (and others) are being retained even as our roles disappear off the books. We all must look around for a new place within the IMB to serve.
I don’t completely agree with some aspects of the decision, though a good bit of it is quite sound. I believe some problems might result, but I affirm those making the call. If I cannot find another department in the IMB who can use my skills, I might find myself in the market for a van to park under the bridge down by the river.
Even so – even if I end up signing the Hand Raising Opportunity sheet and selling stuff that would not survive a move to the US, I believe in what the organization is trying to do. I believe Super Dave is going to pull off a fabulous work of rehabilitation, improving the IMB even as the process inadvertently lays me off.
Loyalty within an organization or company used to look very different. People chose a job and a company, staying until retirement. They theoretically gave their all to the company and in turn the company took good care of their workers. You were even expected to be personally loyal to you boss.
In missions, though, your boss is not your supervisor. Your boss is your calling.
The goal of reaching the world for Christ is our boss. The steps we take towards that goal serve as our daily action plans. The results in our hearts and communities serve as feedback on which to base an evaluation. That is what holds my loyalty; the IMB earns a large portion of that loyalty in that they sign my paychecks and provide accountability and oversight. Even if I disagree; even if I can find no place left in the organization for me; even if I can’t find a job in the US; even if I have to sit on this particular sideline and applaud the IMB’s progress as it moves on without us…
We’re loyal to that which counts; and the IMB is, too.