Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Strengths and Weaknesses

Okinawa CSM/CCM staff
At the beginning of a new year; making resolutions, plans to improve, to be a better person, to function well as a team is exactly what our Cadence team did at our first ever Cadence Student Ministry/ Cadence Children's Ministry, CSM/CCM, conference. (Sarah and I are the first CCM missionaries). It was a time of looking to the future, seeing where we want to go and asking the Lord if He would direct us there.  It was also a time for us to get to know each other better because over half of the Asia team arrived on the field 3-6 months ago,  To help us understand each other better we all completed a ProScan Trait Survey. It is like a personality test that identifies an individual’s four basic personality traits and a whole lot more; strengths and weaknesses, sources of motivation, energy level, current satisfaction level, and sources of stress.

Sarah and I were both hesitant about going away for a whole week to do a conference. Our thoughts were, “it’s the new year! We have so much to do! We have so much planning and so much work to do, so we shouldn't be going to a conference! We just got on the field!!”  It was a rookie outlook on what conferences can do for a team and for our own renewal. Needless to say, we followed the guidance and wisdom of the leaders set before us and made the journey to the first ever CSM/CCM conference.

During our free time one afternoon, a few of us
explored a waterfall.
We had our conference at Okuma, which is a resort on the Northern part of Okinawa that is for U.S. Military.  Our leadership brought in guest speakers, Darrell and Cheryl Hammond from Higher Ground Consulting, for the week to help us understand the ProScan test. They are experts on building teams and improving communication between people.  While we talked about a lot of information over the week, my big takeaways were the motivators and demotivators for the team (especially when it comes to Sarah).  The motivators are something that truly drive you to take action. We all took time to look at a list of motivators that were specific to our ProScan results and defined 4 of them.  After that we all shared with each other our motivators.  I shared that cooperation, friends, happiness, and outside activities were the things that get me to take action.  If I have one of those things in my life, I love to take action and get things done quicker!  Happiness is my number one motivator.  If I’m not happy, I’m not effective. Period.  Sarah’s motivators are stability, structure, time to adjust to change, and strong leadership.  Knowing these will help me motivate her to do her best!  We had a chance to talk to Darrell and Cheryl one on one about these different motivators. They told me to encourage Sarah to take time out of her day to reflect and have moments of peace.  This will help her feel less stressed and be more motivated to do things, not just in work but in life.  While most of her motivators are going to take time to establish, we have started working on them.  It was great insight for me as a husband to understand that these things are important to my wife!  It is making me a better husband and person! The demotivators also helped me better understand how and why Sarah communicates the way she does.  While the demotivators weren't unfamiliar to me, I just didn't have a name or description to put with them.  Putting a name to something always helps me better understand.  All of this information is also going to help me with my new teammates as we begin to work more together.  I’ll be able to know how I can be most effective when working with them or just hanging out. It was such blessing to go to the conference!  We came back refreshed, ready to hit the road hard!!

Our leadership team encouraged all of us to get to know 
each other better. Sarah and I did that by sharing 
meals with those on our team.
Sarah and I have come to a clearer realization that rest is important!  Whether you are in ministry or not, taking time to rest and reflect on life is important.  Cadence International is helping us realize this. This past conference, we learned a lot, on top of  getting refreshed! After making an international move and starting two overseas children’s ministries, it was needed and will continue to be needed!  Looking to the summer, we have our all staff conference. This is a conference for every missionary within Cadence to attend and it is hosted every 5 years.  While we still have a little bit of the “we just got here” bug; we are totally on board with being refresh and renewed by all the stories of ministry happening on U.S. military bases around the world. We will be sharing the details of our summer conference in the weeks to come, stay tuned!