Last week I met with our Board of Directors for the Annual Meeting of Second Wind Ministries. SWM is a registered society in the Province of BC that is governed by Provincial laws regarding this kind of organization. It is also a registered charity in Canada that is also governed by Federal laws respecting Canadian charities. These laws in both cases require that Second Wind Ministries file reports annually. This is to ensure that the organization is functioning within well-established guidelines.
Though these laws may seem restrictive to some, I feel grateful that laws governing charities such as this one exist. For one thing such laws keep an organization from simply being a law unto itself. Accountability is always a good thing because it protects a person from getting into his or her own trouble and it also protects others from being exploited in some way. I think it is wonderful that we live in a country that is supportive and sympathetic to charities such as this one and that it has laws in place to ensure its credibility. Though we may chaff at these kinds of requirements at times it is important to recognize that accountability is really a biblical principle.
None of us are islands unto ourselves in which we can do whatever we please without affecting others. We are not isolated individuals who have absolute individual freedom. It is important for us to be reminded often that everything we do affects others in one way or another. We all are part of a larger community that involves the human family, the nation or province in which we live, and the smaller groups to which we unconsciously belong — cities, neighborhoods, societies, clubs, churches, families, and so on. And because this is so, others have a right to ask questions about our actions and intentions. We need to ensure that people are acting in a way that will benefit themselves and the larger community. And when a person does something that is not in line with well-established guidelines it is right for us to raise the issue.
I am thankful for the four other people in our association that are committed to keeping me accountable regarding the work and ministry of Second Wind Ministries. In this case they all are leaders in Christian ministry. Together they have a long record of experience in service for Christ in His Church and the work of His Kingdom. They are also sympathetic with the purpose and function of Second Wind Ministries. Last week we met to review what has been happening through this work within the last year. I provided a report of its work as well as of its financial dealings. The Board of Directors listened, evaluated, affirmed, and provided ideas for more effectiveness in the future. I am grateful for their help in this way.
Five years ago, Second Wind Ministries came into existence as a ministry of encouragement especially for those who serve as pastors and Christian leaders in churches of the region. The idea was that because people in Christian ministry often become discouraged and suffer many difficulties not ordinarily understood even by the people they have tried to serve they need a place of consolation and restoration. To this end, SWM has provided counseling, education, and practical encouragement. Over the past five years there have been many opportunities to offer support to troubled people in this category.
But it also is the case that this interest in helping individuals has now been extended to helping churches and church leaders especially as they are going through a time of transition between pastors. So often churches suffer a set-back when their pastors move on — especially if the departure has been fraught with ill feelings. Helping churches through this kind of transition has really become a large part of the work that I now do with Second Wind Ministries. This is largely because churches feel the need for outside help to process their transitions and also because they are prepared to pay for this kind of ministry. To date, I have worked with about six different churches for three months to a year at at time to help them hire, as much as possible, from a state of health. Though this has been very rewarding and financially viable the need for personal coaching, counseling and encouragement for people in ministry remains a big one.
But I can only do that to the degree that individuals are willing to pay for their help or there are other means of financial support. Thankfully, since Second Wind Ministries is a registered charity that can also offer receipts for income tax purposes, financial support has also come through donations from those who may be in sympathy with this work. This can be done through means identified on the Contact Page of this web-site. This kind of support also helps to off-set expenses for time off between church transitions — as was the case this summer, for example.
The Board of Directors of SWM is eager to see this ministry expand according to its original purpose and have urged me to publish materials that would offer a better profile of the need in this area and how it could be met. For this reason I hope I can, by God’s grace, give more attention to writing during this coming year.