I read an article the other day about working in the non-profit sector. The writer focused on the pros and cons of what it means to work for a non-profit organization or company. Although my situation is a little different, it really touched on a few things I've experienced by learning and serving with YWAM.
One aspect of being in a non-proft listed was was: 'Your job title will change every four months.' How entirely accurate. I always try to find a way to describe what I do to people, yes I'm part of the Ministry and Leadership Development (MLD) track as a student, but what does that actually look like day to day? One of the main points is that I get to experience so many different settings and areas as I learn. Part of the point of MLD is to gain experience leading in different capacities. That means gaining insights from books on leadership, then actually practicing those things when you, say, cook a meal for 120 people on the weekend.
There's always new things to try, opportunity to jump into many new things, and space to create new ways of serving. I look back at the past year and see the wide range skills I've grown in.
This year I have:
- Learned to use Salesforce - a CRM (customer relationship management) software
- Increased my skills in Excel
- Run the registration for an international conference of around 80 people
- Took part in organizing and coordinating an international conference of 700 people
- Grew in my cross cultural communication skills both in email and in person
- Gained a huge understanding of others traditions, values, and behavior by living in a cross cultural context
- Learned how to manage email domains
- Stepped into more details of what it means to run a non-profit
- Managed accounting for conferences
- Learned how to use an event registration and management software then built the registration system for a conference
- Met people who give leadership to YWAM locations around the world, representing teams of people amounting in the thousands who are all living to serve others.
Finally one of the major things about the MLD here in Lausanne is the opportunities for networking. I get to meet so many people doing amazing things around the world. People I have met this year have done and continue to do the following: started a school in Cambodia, building homes in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Uganda, helping with community development in Togo, volunteering with refugees in Greece, working to improve children's lives in the slums in South Africa, feeding the needy in Singapore and Hong Kong, doing music ministry in France, working with victims of ISIS in Iraq, training Sudanese refugees to further their English teaching skills, sailing medical ships to Papua New Guinea and so much more. It seems now I can point at any country on the world map and know of someone who is expressing their faith and love for God in very practical ways. What a privilege it is to learn, serve, and live here!