Spot the mission worker!
The following three passages each describe a different person’s afternoon routine at work. Take a look at all three and then decide which passage is describing a Mission Worker. (If you are able to print this story and hand out a copy to each person in your group, invite people to use a highlighter or pen to underline the sections of the text that point to the person being a mission worker.)
Sarah’s afternoon routine
By 2pm, Sarah is usually in pack up mode around an activity, spending time putting the room back together. She might spend time with a colleague, reflecting on how the day has been in terms of living out their values and purpose as a team. As it gets close to 2:30pm, parents and carers begin arriving to pick up their children. There is afternoon tea provided, so people often stay for a while to talk and watch their kids burn off the last of their energy in the playground. Sarah makes sure to spend this time connecting with at least one or two parents intentionally. For example, one afternoon this week Sarah spent 45 minutes with Joanne. Joanne’s husband hasn’t been well for several weeks. He is suffering from a mental illness exacerbated by some recent stress. After listening carefully to Joanne and asking questions around how she and the kids are going, Sarah asks if they can pray together about it.
Alex’s Afternoon routine
Alex likes to spend the morning visiting people, so by the afternoon he is usually back at home, with a cuppa, ready to do some thinking and writing. There is always a sermon or talk to prepare, and as part of his process Alex spends quite a bit of time reading. At 4pm, like clockwork, he takes a 30 minute walk without his phone. He has found over the years that gives him a genuine sense of space away from everything he needs to do and all the people he is connected with. It is a time where he can check in with himself and think about more than just what is happening this week. It’s not unusual for Alex to have an evening event, gathering or meeting to participate in, so once he’s back from his walk he is usually getting ready for the next thing.
Josh’s Afternoon Routine
2pm is a busy time for Josh, people are keen for a coffee to get them through their mid-afternoon slump. He tries to make sure there is at least three people working in the van, so they can keep the waiting times down. Most of the time he knows people’s orders before they even ask because he’s working in this community for years. Many of the customers work in offices nearby and have become regulars. Josh isn’t always making the coffee which gives him time to connect with people, particularly those who come by everyday. Josh will know if they aren’t their usual selves, when to ask ‘how are you’ and when to talk about something different. A couple of his regulars are artists undercover, so he checks in on when their next gig or exhibition is. He greets each person by name, and if he doesn’t know them is quick to build a rapport. There is a bit of a joke amongst the team that Josh doesn’t do any work because he is too busy talking to people all the time.
Sue’s afternoon Routine
By the mid afternoon, Sue has usually seen around twenty people. She will have talked to them not just about their health, but their relationships, their work, their stress levels, travel plans as well as the smaller details of everyday life that are important to each one. She knows people well and has a great memory. It isn’t always easy with the way schedules get pushed out, but Sue has a practice of spending the five minutes before meeting with each person in a centring prayer. This has been one of the ways she’s been able to sustain her energy and commitment. Sue is always busy because people trust her and value her perspective highly; they know she has their best interests at heart. Sue reserves 40 minutes in the mid-afternoon to deal with emails and to catch up on paperwork.