Applying What We Learned

If you follow the Catholic Family Services blog, you read that most of our Administrative staff was heading to Notre Dame to attend a conference this past week.  The goal?  To focus on how to connect Mission to Service — taking our foundational purpose (our Mission Statement) “off the wall and embedding it in organizational DNA” as one presenter put it.  It’s a topic that almost every organization struggles with and we were excited to take the opportunity to work, as a team, on such a foundational concept.  We arrived on campus Sunday and stayed until Wednesday afternoon.

What a conference it was!  Some of the best thinkers on the topic volunteered their time to teach us, inspiring us to think about our work in new and different ways.  While we have not yet had the time to process the diverse content and apply it directly to our daily work, we wanted to share some of these thoughts and concepts with you.  We’d love to hear your feedback and see how you think these ideas might help make a stronger organization, better services, and a healthier community.

  • The ultimate outcome of the work you do should not be measured in the number of lives  you touch, but rather the number of lives you transform.
  • Take a moment to think about what Jesus spent his time doing.   Did he feed and heal a lot of people?  Could he have fed and healed more people while on earth?  Rather, he chose to divide his time between teaching, prayer, and communal life.  What does this mean for those who try to live as he would have us do?
  • What is the difference between “Working for God” and “Doing God’s Work?”  The first leads us to decide what to do with our life and then offering it to God.  The second encourages us to submit and let God decide where our time should be spent.
  • If you do your work well, people will  be helped in such a way that they no longer need you.
  • The task of the Church is to gather, teach, and nourish . . . preparing us to be sent out into the field to become the hands, feet, and workers of Christ.
  • The Scriptures are not texts to be read, but rather to be performed.  In this way, they are much like Mozart’s great works.  If left on paper, they do not accomplish what they are intended for.  We need to practice them and perform them, and the more you do so, the better you get at it!
  • As St Augustine said, “Love God and do what you please.”  If you truly do the first, the second will be taken care of automatically.

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