Life is a combination of experiences, knowledge, beliefs, and values that we each hold dear. One of my core values is, “Leave things better than you found them.”
At my job, I have practiced this with the buildings the Church owns. I have thrown away junk, help paint, and asked the board to make improvements. Throughout the years, I have helped lead in significant remodeling projects, adding accessible restrooms, installing lights, along with the addition of new siding. Each project left the building in better shape than when I arrived.
This principle works itself out in other ways within the Church. The infrastructure of a Church is a critical part of it achieving its mission. I have worked to improve bylaws, provide leadership training, and teach whenever possible. It has led me to implement ministry teams, create procedures and start membership classes. I want the next minister to walk into an organization that is well run and ready for the future.
Finally, it also applies to people. Whenever I encounter people who attend the Church I lead, I want them to grow at least one step closer to God in their faith. John Maxwell talks about “Adding value to people,” and I think he is correct. Believers help other people carry their burdens, encourage them when they are down, and lend a helping hand when needed.
As you walk through life, you have two choices. Will you be a user who takes without giving back? Or will you be the type of person who leaves things better than you found them? I hope that my work with buildings and programs is not in vain, but I know that working with people never is.