Our experience can attest to the relevance of the Appreciative Inquiry. In the previous post I mentioned about the lecture of Bro. Andrew Escuban, area manager of the Share An Opportunity (SAO) at that time, to the board of trustees of the Convention Baptist Ministers Association (CBMA). We requested him to facilitate the initial stages in our Strategic Planning session after the lecture as we tried to internalize the concept, principles, process. Using the guide questions, we started the first activity of the 4-D cycle, i.e. Discover. We shared the best practices and positive experiences including what we valued most in the organization. Answers were written in meta cards, posted on the board and clustered later after discussion. It was an inspiring experience as there were no wrong answers.
Then, we proceeded to the next step – Dream for the association in coming three to five years. Similar process in stage one was done after each has done respective share. From the product of the first two stages, we were led to the next step. i.e. Design. Here, we spent some time in consolidating our answers into provocative statements. It was on this stage when we decided to end the session and scheduled another meeting to resume the process. This is another plus factor for the Appreciative Inquiry. It is flexible and not so taxing or burdensome. We enjoyed the process.
Having internalized the process, we took responsibility of the succeeding sessions and repeated the process in expanded group involving the committee members and chapter presidents. We also incorporated the inputs from consultations and informal talks with pastors. Until finally, we have presented the draft plan to the general assembly before the formulation of the final vision- mission statement and thrusts of the association. An in unconventional way, I formulated acronyms for an easy recall of the aforementioned areas.
For the first time in history or second time if records deceived us, we have set a direction for our organization. We know it is not the ideal but it is the best we ever have. Thereafter, we made breakthroughs as the members support become constant for they have shared ownership of the vision-mission and thrust as these represent their aspirations.
Approved during the May 2005 Assembly, the following vision-mission statement was affirmed during the 2008 General Assembly
Vision: An organization committed to God’s calling of fostering mutual relationship and Solidarity towards Holistic ministry, Abundant life and Responsible stewardship (SHARE).
Mission: Holistic Enhancement of the Life of Pastors (HELP) characterized by exemplary obedience to Mission, ever conscious of their Identity as servants of God, skillful in Networking and partnership for Integral and integrated Services among themselves and towards Total ministry with Enabling skills in Resource generation and other mobilization endeavors (MINISTER).
MINISTER also serves as the paradigm framework of the Association’s program thrusts, as follows: Ministerial identity; Institute, Networking, Integrated services, Spirituality, Team work, Entrepreneurship, Resource management.
Under the slogan SHARE, HELP, MINISTER, our association has soared to unprecedented heights. Summing up the vision-mission statement and paradigm thrusts, the slogan captured the ideas, needs, aspirations, of pastors. It has provided the direction of the association which broke the cyclic tradition and set the foundation for continuity.
Next post: How Appreciative Inquiry works in the Department of Social Work.