“We’ve been hearing really good things about you” is the sort of comment which would make anyone happy. When it comes from someone in a position of authority, its even better. Over the past few weeks we’ve had some great feedback from some really significant places – senior police officers recommending us to their colleagues, leading social workers asking us to take on student placements, councils enquiring about working in partnership. These are ‘fruits of our labours’ – signs that the work we are doing is being recognised.
One of the things I committed to when I became CEO was to build on the reputation and relationships of The Door – there was a sense in some quarters that we either weren’t taken seriously, or were seen as a ‘den of thieves’ compounding societies issues rather than improving them. The team has worked tirelessly to improve the standards of what we do, and the ways in which we communicate about it, to ensure that the real stories get out there – that for 25 years The Door has been at the forefront of stepping alongside young people and their families and helping them bring about positive changes in their lives.
We gathered together as a team in mid-March to spent some time looking to the future and building our internal relationships. The first part of the day was facilitated by two of our Trustees, Sean Corbett and Tom Howard. We shared the things which make The Door special to us, and I’m not ashamed to say that the words of the team brought tears to my eyes. Hearing from them what makes them work for The Door was humbling, summed up in the statement that “The world is a better place because of The Door.” As we continue to gather Door Stories we see the reality of that.
One other key factor was the relationship The Door, and many of the team, have with God. Knowing that we are doing His work, that everything we do is trying to bring His kingdom into being, drives us forward to be the best we can be. It also allows us to hold lightly our responsibilities – Jesus said “For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” We know that as long as we place Him at the centre of all we do, He is in control and we will be fruitful.
One other thing that came up in the team day was the recognition that The Door is a place where change is expected and embraced – whether it be because of new opportunities enabling us to find creative solutions, or changes in funding meaning things come to an end – change, as they say, is here to stay. Once again, understanding that with God things are often only for a season helps us to deal with those changes as they come along. After 25 years, we realise that there are changes ahead, and whatever they are, God remains sovereign over all.