John, you are the Director of Operations at Youth Missions International. What does that job title mean?
That’s a great question, and unfortunately not the easiest to answer. A Director of Operations at 10 different organizations probably have 10 different job descriptions. Mine can be explained best through two roles.
The first is the working with the direction and vision of YMI, partnerships, training, and helping solve any problems or issues that come up (which, because we work in a fallen world, happens fairly often.)
The second part is kind of a catch all: HR, finance, accounting, payroll, taxes, legal compliance, etc. At some point these roles will be taken over by other more gifted and passionate about them than I am.
What would you say is your favorite part of your job?
I really enjoy being a part of problem solving and troubleshooting the different issues that come up. While situations that happen can be frustrating, I’ve seen that it’s through those moments that I get to see God do some amazing things. It’s really cool to be a part of helping create solutions that allow us to accomplish the mission God has for YMI, in spite of the obstacles that inevitably come up.
So, what’s say is your least favorite part of your job?
The nitty gritty detail aspects of that second part of my job. I can honestly say that I’ve never once had a desire to become an accountant or payroll controller. While I am capable of doing those types of things, they are never my favorite thing to do.
What helps you overcome that?
Knowing that taking care of those things is vital for the success of this organization. If we don’t keep accurate financial records, we would be very poor stewards of the many things that God has given us. I love that YMI strives to be transparent and above reproach in all we do. Remembering that those seemingly endless details are a vital part of being transparent helps motivate me to do them.
Do you enjoy working for YMI? What about their mission resonates with you?
I love working for YMI. As a student who grew up in the church, I felt like I had a really good handle on things for quite a while. It wasn’t until my experience with YMI as a high school student that I realized just how much I had been hiding and pushing aside. My own experience with YMI changed my life for the better. I love being able to be a small part of giving other students that same experience. The world is in desperate need of young Christian leaders that love to share Jesus. Everything that YMI does is towards that end.
What are some current projects you’re working on?
Right now, the main project that I’m working on is helping our different programs gear up for next year. We’re in a little bit of an awkward time, in that there’s a lot of stuff that still needs to be done to make sure that all of our students are prepared to go out and serve this summer. But at the same time, we need to figure out what our plans are to reach students in the next year. I’ve been meeting a lot with the various staff members at YMI to figure out how we can improve what we do, as well as what our goals are for next year. We’re in the final stages of writing out our five-year plan, and it’s exciting to dream about what God can do with YMI over that time.
Is there anything you’d particularly like prayer for?
We would definitely like prayer for new staff members to join our team here at YMI. As we look at what we hope to do in the next few years, there are a couple of areas that could very much use at least another staff member or two. The two most immediate areas are our Go program and the BASE Sports division. Go is a ministry where we work to equip youth pastors to train their youth groups to live out and share their faith. BASE is our sports ministry division that seeks to equip churches to do relevant sports outreach in their communities. Please pray that God would provide people to come alongside us and lead in these areas.