The view from the “Back Office”
It’s my privilege and pleasure to serve with OIM in a couple of different capacities. Every Thursday evening my husband and I head out on Street Outreach as “front-line workers”, interacting directly with those who need our services. I also serve on OIM’s Board of Directors, which is a “back office” function; largely unseen, but still needed.
The Board sets in place governance processes, policies, and long-term planning to meet the mission of the organization, which is on the front page of our website: “We are called to come alongside people experiencing poverty and homelessness, demonstrate the message of Christ in deed and word, show compassion, build self-esteem and empower individuals through a strength-based approach.” There are 7 Directors on the Board, and we are a diverse group; we have one lawyer, an accountant, several business people, a doctor and a retired Canadian Forces Lieutenant-General. We seek to bring the diverse perspectives of our work and personal experiences to help lead and direct OIM in a spirit-led way.
OIM’s Board mixes business with prayer. Every other month we meet for our regular business meeting, along with Ken MacLaren, Executive Director. We start with prayer and a devotional thought from the scriptures. Next, we review and accept the reports from various staff members and committees, to ensure we’re up to date on OIM’s activities. We take time to carefully review the finances of the organization to confirm that we’re using God’s money in prudent and responsible way. In addition to the regular agenda items, we have discussion about special projects, like finding a permanent home (building) for OIM and raising the money to pay for that home.
Between business meetings, every other month we meet for prayer. As followers of Christ we believe prayer is the lifeblood of our organization and it’s a big blessing to pray for OIM, for its staff, for those we serve and for each other. We’ve seen miraculous answers to our prayers when God has provided staff, money and supplies exactly when they were needed.
We don’t always agree, but we all love each other, and we love Christ. With the help of faithful supporters and volunteers, OIM continues to serve Ottawa’s disenfranchised citizens. And as a Board, we are committed to providing the structure and oversight needed to ensure the organization lives and thrives.
~Karen, Board Member