Do you remember Victor Kiam’s famous phrase, “I loved it so much I bought the company”? He was referring to his first Remington electric shaver, which his wife bought for him years before. This was the tag-line in commercials throughout the 80′s. He liked the product so much, he literally bought the company. That is what I call taking ownership!
That is the thought I had earlier this week as I looked out the door of my office to see Susan Snider, our church’s administrative assistant, pushing a dust mop down the hall. Nowhere in her job description is housekeeping mentioned, but she thought the floors at the entrance needed a little attention right before the funeral in our church that same afternoon. That is what I call taking ownership!
I’ve seen it before from Susan, in these first couple of months since I arrived. She goes the extra mile, communicates with everyone who needs to know, checks after things that need checking, and does the little things that go to the heart of what it means to think like an owner, not just an employee. I had countless folks tell me upon my arrival that Susan is one of the best assets our church has, and I’ve now seen it firsthand.
Of course, the church is not something to be owned. With Jesus as her leader, the church is larger than any person, be they listed on staff or in ministry from the pews. The church stands across the centuries, and partners with God into the future. Yet, there is something to be said for folks who see their role as more than filling a spot, or punching a clock. In his best-selling leadership book, The Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge says leaders within great organizations are “connected and bound together by a common aspiration.”
This is one of the wonderful truths about this church: people are connected through a sense of ownership about how things go, and how we dream they can go. It is ownership, in the best form of the word. Susan Snider gets that, along with countless others within this great church. Well done, church.
<blockquote><a href=”http://thealbanyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/ScottHagan.jpg”><img class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-4378″ title=”ScottHagan” src=”http://thealbanyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/ScottHagan-150×150.jpg” alt=”" width=”150″ height=”150″ /></a>Former Albany resident Scott Hagan is pastor of Epworth United Methodist Church in Columbus, Ga. He served until 2007 as associate pastor of First United Methodist Church in Albany, where helped to oversee missions and the young adult and contemporary worship ministries. </blockquote>