It’s hard to believe we’re already in month two of 2015; time just keeps ticking away. I do hope that 2015 has gotten off to the best possible start that any of you could have ever hoped for.
As we continue with this year’s theme of focusing on the 10 Salvation Army Core Values, this month we examine the value of ‘excellence’. As The Salvation Army puts it, excellence means that “we strive to be the best at what we do and a model for others to emulate”. We want people in the community to notice what we do, how we do it and for them to follow suit.
In our newly integrated Toronto Housing and Homeless Supports, we embrace the value of excellence as one of the four main pillars of the work that we do (H-housing, O-outcomes, M-mission, E-excellence). In our shelter work, excellence is at the core; we believe it’s an integral piece of what makes up a home.
So what does excellence look like for us?
- It means re-framing our case management and housing work so that the people coming through our doors receive the best possible service from the moment they first encounter any of our staff members.
- It means cleaning and maintaining our buildings as well as we can so that everyone who stays with us feels respected and treated with dignity.
- It means working together as a team, both management and staff, unified by our goals.
- It means treating everyone who comes through our doors as a person, a human being created in the image of God.
- It means our recruiting, hiring and staff training practices are done in the best interest of both the employees and the residents.
As the narrator says in the above video about excellence, “The opposite of excellence is mediocrity”.
We’re no longer willing to settle for mediocrity! Our people deserve more than that.
I read through the entire Bible in 2014 using an app that scheduled daily readings for me. One of the things I was continually reminded of while reading is that God uses really unlikely, unusual and even messed up people to carry out His work. People just like me. Let’s continue striving for excellence in all that we do, no matter what position we have, how messed up we think we, or others on our team, may be. We all have crucial roles to play as we seek to bring hope and HOME to the many women and men coming to us every single day.
And let’s keep on being ‘The Hand of God in the Heart of the City’.
Prayer for Excellence
Creator of all that is excellent,
Though we have flaws and are far from perfect,
Use us, our talents, our skills, our plans
and even our imperfections
Not just for our benefit
But for the benefit of all your people within our sphere of influence