As a section coordinator with American Baptist Women’s Ministries I have been encouraging the women to use all the new technology tools to communicate with one another.
In the world of computers and technology everyone knows that if you have an important digital file you have got to have a back-up copy. The odds of a system crash are directly proportional to the number and importance of the files you have failed back up.
At my office, all the work on the network servers is backed-up automatically every night to off-site systems. Anything on our work station hard drives is vulnerable to occasional system failure. Because of that, I link to the network for almost all of my work.
I have a home network, too, but have never invested in an automatic back-up program or system. I woke up this morning thinking that I need to make portable copies of the important files on my home computers. That led me to think about the various important activities and responsibilities I have that cannot be digitized and copied.
The many responsibilities we all have in our lives are much more important than digital files…but how many of us have taken the time to provide a reliable back-up?
My primary responsibility at home, right now, is to take care of my elderly mother. I am very fortunate that my adult sons who live with me are home with my mom while I am at work. My two sisters live nearby and can be called upon for anything beyond my sons’ experience or abilities. I feel that where my mother is concerned I have a reliable back-up system in place.
My sons back me up on most of the rest of my household responsibilities, as well.
At work, we try to assign an official second for each area of responsibility and the system works pretty well. When the primary person is ill, on vacation, or otherwise unable to do her job, everyone knows where to turn.
However, there doesn’t seem to be an obvious system of back-ups in our women’s ministry, right now.
Over the years, as we have endeavored to cut back expenses, the officer structure has become very lean, with little or no redundancy. When everyone is able to do their job it is a marvel of efficiency. When circumstances prevent participation there does not appear to be an organized safety net in place.
The Bible warns us often about placing our reliance on the fallible creatures we all are. No matter how motivated and conscientious a person is, that person is still vulnerable to accident, disease or the actions of others.
We have seen that in our section of the country when communications break down between National, the Regions and the local organizations. All it takes is for one person to fail to pass information on and the message does not get through.
If you serve in a position of responsibility, whether at home, work or in an organization or ministry, I encourage you to find out who would have your back if you were unable to fulfill your obligations.
If there is no structure in place, then you might want to set one up. Find a person whom you can trust who is willing to step in when the need arises. And then keep that blessed person “in the loop” and up to date on all aspects of the work you are doing.
In your personal life that can be accomplished with regular chats when you make sure your back-up is still willing and able to help out, if the need comes up, and keep her current on any changes in your situation.
In work or ministry one of the easiest ways to keep your second informed is to copy her on all of your emails. That simple step, along with a special email or phone call to bring her up to speed when things change, should be sufficient to make it possible for her to fill your shoes when necessary.
As Christians we feel that Jesus “has our back” and salvation is the ultimate safety net. But, this side of glory it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
Pray as if it is all up to God (it is!); work as though it’s all up to you….and your back-up.