As I celebrate my one-year anniversary of becoming the CEO/President of GraceWorks, I find myself asking the same question Oprah Winfrey asks herself in her monthly column in her magazine “O.” What do I know for sure?
What do I know for sure about GraceWorks after this first year?
For sure I know that GraceWorks is an exciting place to work that provides lots of opportunity for tangible and impactful ministry. I have spent this first year being bombarded with information about who we are, who we serve, how we serve and who serves with us. So with all that I have heard, seen and done in the first year, it is natural to ponder what else I know for sure.
Well, I recently was confirmed in the answer at church when I heard the statement “The church was created to serve.” Just as Jesus came to serve, we who are called by his name are obligated to do the same. Because GraceWorks was the “heart-child” of caring Christians — we are so much more than their brain-child — within local churches, I know for sure that GraceWorks was created to serve.
It is important for me to be sure of this call to serve because it deeply influences every decision of our mission of our culture. As we head into a season of strategic planning, it becomes even more important that our mission to serve in the name of Christ remains our foundation. No matter what strategic plans we adopt, the reason whywe serve should never change.
My deep desire is to continue to honor the very heart with which GraceWorks was created — and that is to be a Christian community resource center, serving the needs of any member of our community. Who are the people we serve? They are our neighbors. They are us.
They are the hardworking father who despite his best efforts still loses his job, the family who has been devastated and depleted by a serious illness of their breadwinner, the mother of young children running from an abusive spouse, the cash-poor divorced mother living in the big house she can no longer afford, the child on a free lunch program at our schools who needs an assurance of food over the weekend or when school is out, or the young mother living in her car with her children who has no place to go.
In this month’s e-newsletter we share a video about Tim, a neighbor we are helping to get back on his feet and to be self-sufficient. I do hope you will take a few minutes to look at it. His story captures the very reason we serve, which is to impact the lives of others for Christ.
The other thing that I know for sure is that we have great supporters who give their time, talent and treasures to make GraceWorks possible. None of this could happen without you.
Thank you for a great year of getting to know GraceWorks, Williamson County, the people we serve, and you! I look forward to our future and hope this is the first year of many more to come.
Serving in His Name,
Valencia A. Breckenridge, CEO