How do you know when you’re winning? How do you know you’re really making an impact or a difference? Ministry is different than business because the “product” is life change. That’s a complex thing to measure! For NieuCommunities South Africa, right now, I would say we have a good way to gauge some of our success. That way is in how our partner ministries are developing and progressing. When they succeed, that means we’ve done our part. When they grow, that means we’ve nurtured what they’ve asked to care for.
I am often asked what a “normal” day looks like for me. That’s hard to explain in a simple sentence because I’m juggling a lot of things right now. One of the areas I am focusing my time on is the development and nurturing of strategic partners. We want to align ourselves with ministries that need solid training, coaching, and support. That’s what NieuCommunities is good at, and we feel that is what God is calling us into: mentoring and sending South Africans into SUSTAINABLE mission and life.
Burnout typically rules the day in South African ministry. Why? Because you cannot avoid every single street corner’s complex needs. There will always be a well of needs, and not enough buckets to empty it out. So to go back to the question of what my “normal day” looks like:
-we coach some key people in their ministry roles
-we teach upcoming South African leaders to engage in their work more efficiently & theologically
-we help determine other people who need to come into our community who can both benefit from their time with us and can help us be more effective in ministry
-we help our staff grow in the work they are developing here
-we work on creating necessary structures to fund this organization long term AND EVENTUALLY hand this over to local leadership
That’s the short list.
But the final example I’d give on how I know we’ve succeeded is this:
Pure Hope has effectively gone through a strategic overhaul of their processes. Rather than only touching community needs around Pretoria, they are moving towards the full on establishment of a missions organization: mobilizing South Africans into sustainable community development everywhere…FULL TIME. I’d say that’s a mark for a LOT of celebration. I’m really excited for my friends and all the hard work that has gone into seeing this become reality!