People International was recommended to me as being professional, focused and friendly…
A friend first recommended People International (PI) to me as being professional and focused, while at the same time, friendly. These three things are some of the reasons I eventually chose to join PI.
Professionally, PI values theological training and transferable skills and organisationally has a good balance between autonomy and accountability. I previously worked for a large company with a fairly flat structure, so I did not want to be constrained by hierarchy; however I did want to be held accountable and looked after.
In PI each person is part of a team, which is key for effective ministry and are accountable to their team leader. The teams have authority to make decisions in real time on the field, without having to refer to a manager the other side of the world. However, team leaders are fallible humans, to prevent them straying from their agreed goals, are held accountable to the regional leader and wider organisation.
The regions are small enough that the regional leaders can know the situation of each team and many individual members, which gives me security that what I “signed up for” won’t change. PI’s approach is also “flexible” where possible, having clear goals but not prescribing in detail how to attain them; this is essential in a world where anything from technology to visas change continually.
A focus on ‘word ministry’…
PI’S focus is on the priority of the gospel, bringing people to salvation and training and equipping others, with support from related ministries where applicable. Although many members are professionally qualified, sometimes a job can be a distraction and so these skills may or may and not be utilised on the field, continual evaluation is encouraged. Having formerly worked in Empowerment in a developing country I was heartened to find PI seeking to work with and train local Christians. An ex-pat should always be trying to do themselves out of a job! PI also seeks to work with similar organisations so as not to replicate work or confuse locals. Being an international, inter-denominational agency helps in these instances.
Do I want to work with this organisation, I asked myself…
I have found PI to be a friendly organisation. When I used to conduct job interviews I’d always consider – “do I want to work with this person?” So I asked myself that about PI. I was able to have in-depth discussions early on as to how I might fit in, both with a UK staff member who had lived in Central Asia and a regional leader who knew the details about possible locations.
I visited three teams who welcomed me to stay in their homes and shared their joys and struggles. Later I attended the PI international induction week, receiving training on key issues. This included security, showing PI’s concern for individuals in a rather unstable region. However the highlight was getting to know leaders and recruits from across the globe and learning about ministry in different locations. This helps us pray effectively for ongoing work in countries we may never visit and means we feel a real connection to other PI members.
PI is said to be a family and I am glad to be part of it.
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