CCHO is celebrating 50 years of ministry! Throughout 2019, we will be sharing stories of the lives that have been forever changed by the work God has done through our family of ministries (CCHO, Encourage Foster Care and Encompass Christian Counseling). Our purpose of helping more people experience their worth in Christ also applies to our employees. In story #34 of our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series, Kevin Hewitt, CCHO’s President & CEO, discusses the importance of investing in the lives of staff members and showing them that they are valued, not just because of what they do but who they are.
How do you show appreciation to staff who consistently fight for the highest good of others? Who walk alongside those in pain, laughing with some, groaning with others, but connecting through it all? Who help others experience their worth in Christ? These are difficult questions to answer because it is impossible to accurately depict how much we – how much I – appreciate our staff. My heart swells with gratitude as I see their passion, love, selflessness and relentless commitment displayed each day.
We also realize that our staff do not do this alone, supported by spouses, children, moms, dads, sisters, brothers, grandmas, grandpas, boyfriends, girlfriends and friends who encourage them when the work gets overwhelming, or who simply lend an ear when a vent is needed. So, with that in my mind, we have been blessed for the last several years with multiple opportunities to provide our staff and their families with staff appreciation events.
It’s special to head to Canal Park and watch the Akron RubberDucks play baseball each summer, surrounded by several hundred people connected to CCHO and our family of ministries, easily identified by our matching shirts. I have to admit I might even get a little teary-eyed when the CCHO logo flashes on the big board and a cheer arises from our section. It’s cool to see staff and their families play together at Putt-n-Stuff in Orrville, the laughter ringing through the area as someone gets drenched on the bumper boats or passes someone on the go-kart track! Few things beat seeing the joy on the children’s faces as they climb the wall, win an arcade game or indulge at the ice cream machine. Last year, several hundred staff along with their families and friends filled a couple movie theaters to see “I Can Only Imagine,” the beautiful story behind Mercy Me’s iconic song and the relationship of lead singer, Bart Millard, with his father.
Recognizing the stressors inherent in our jobs along with our immense desire to be as healthy as possible as we help others experience their worth in Christ, CCHO instituted the Diamond Leadership Institute (DLI) five years ago. Created because we must lead ourselves well if we are going to lead others well, DLI is designed to give every staff member who desires to grow ample opportunities to learn how to lead effectively. We have been blessed to learn from great leadership voices such as Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Patrick Lencioni, Bob Goff, Brene Brown, Henry Cloud and Simon Sinek. We have also given those who complete DLI the opportunity to attend the Global Leadership Summit, an annual two-day event hosted locally by Grace Church in Wooster that is full of leadership teaching and inspirational stories from around the world.
The opportunity to connect with coworkers at fun family outings and to learn alongside those with whom you work is invaluable in creating the culture here at CCHO – a culture of gratitude, cloaked with a desire to always improve, not for our glory but for the Glory of God, who has given us immeasurable worth through Jesus Christ. We look forward to even more ways to show how much we appreciate the staff at CCHO and our family of ministries.