Board Member Paul Ashley looks at what it means to support our staff in our journey with our clients.
At Outreach we provide hope to homeless youth. Often times this is about partnering to transform and create sustainability in lives and circumstances that are unsustainable and broken. This requires us as an organization to practice for ourselves what we ask of our clients.
Often times in frontline urban ministries where highly capable and trained staff are providing trauma informed care there are special challenges that come with the territory. This can produce secondary trauma for the staff, resulting in diminished capacity for the team to serve, up to and including burnout. Our role as a board is to support the leadership team allowing the staff to focus on this as much as the needs of our clients.
Ultimately there is no greater healer and comforter than Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We must point to Him for true sustainability. To facilitate this we provide the staff with:
• Require our staff take Spiritual Formation Days with a focus on self and not the needs of Outreach
• Provide counseling support to process the impacts of trauma informed care
• “Fun Bucks” that helps to fund soul care actives that poor into their well-being and work/life fit
• Exploring a formalized sabbatical program
This is important to me as a board member and a supporter of Outreach. There is no more important work that we can influence. I know the stories of our staff. It is clear to me that when the staff is spiritually in tune not only are their lives made better but also we able to be the hands and feet of Jesus to save and transform lives.