Recharge, Reset and Refresh!
The year 2020 has been the most interesting, ever-changing and challenging year for me as a Human Resources Executive.
Back in March of 2020, I was finishing a wonderful ministry trip to our office in Brazil, when I was informed that a virus was spreading across America and the world. At first, I was in disbelief because everything that I was experiencing in Brazil was beautiful, warm, sunny weather and amazing scenery full of people and families enjoying the waves of the Copacabana Beach. Brazil, at that time, did not have any known COVID-19 cases.
A New Reality
Returning to the U.S., I had to self-quarantine for 14 days, and that was something very different for me as the HR Professional who thrives in engaging with others. I was now faced with remaining home and having to utilize technology to engage with my colleagues, team members, church pastoral team and friends. It was a brand-new day! Therefore, I had to shift my thinking, my style of working, and engagement almost overnight.
Unfortunately, for me and many of our HR professionals, learning the new regulations for COVID-19 was vital. That meant researching and remaining in tune with ever-changing executive standards put in place from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our Michigan Governor, and our local Health Department. It has been very challenging and stressful handling the safety protocols, educating staff and trying to keep my family, employees, CEO and colleagues safe. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. Therefore, I had to find ways to recharge, reset and be refreshed in order to remain an effective leader.
I had to find ways to recharge, reset and be refreshed in order to remain an effective leader.
For the staff, we implemented daily devotions and collective prayer using technology. We also drafted a weekly communication to staff to encourage and keep them engaged, as well as motivate them, during this time of uncertainty. To maintain our culture it was critical to engage with everyone working remotely. Prayer was a vital daily discipline but I also had to find strategies that would aid me personally so I could continue to keep our ministry morale positive during our first-ever global pandemic. No one had answers to how this would impact us medically, economically and spiritually, especially after all churches were placed on lockdown.
I had to remain in touch with my own emotional health and spiritual wellbeing, acknowledging when I felt overwhelmed. I kept a weekly journal to process my thoughts and feelings. As believers, we must be okay identifying when we are weak, stressed or overwhelmed. Everyone needs a time of renewal, recharge, reset and refreshing. I believe, God understands this! He created us to need these times so that we could always come to him for a refill.
Places of Renewal
For Abraham, the place of renewal was Bethel, where he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of God (Gen. 12:8). For Moses and the Israelites, it was the tabernacle in the wilderness, where God’s Glory rested. For the disciples, it was the face-to-face meetings with the Lord that helped them navigate the times.
There are times when, as Jesus did, we must pull away from the crowd, find a place of refuge and allow him to recharge our spirits.
All of us need such times and places of renewal in our lives when our morale and vision are reignited and our spiritual lives are recharged. This is when the Spirit of God will do his masterful work of renewal and motivation.
There are times when, as Jesus did, we must pull away from the crowd, find a place of refuge and allow him to recharge our spirits. We had to consistently remind our staff that the emotions they were feeling were normal but to remember God was, and still is, there with us.
I want to remind my fellow leaders and HR professionals that you cannot provide service if your heart is heavier than the load you carry. Allow God to recharge your inner self so you can continue to be true to yourself and others.
Vicki Harris is the Sr. Vice President of Global Human Resources and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Our Daily Bread Ministries (ODBM). She holds a dual Master’s Degree in HR and Business Administration. ODBM is a global ministry with 38 offices around the world which seeks to make the life-changing wisdom of the Bible understandable and accessible to all. Vicki travels around the world, training staff members in business skills, HR disciplines, diversity equity and inclusion, as well as organizational and leadership development. Vicki is a member of Christian Leadership Alliance’s national Advisory Council.